MHD MTV’s New HD Channel Turns To Ear Goo For Original Music/Sound Design

What do a pair of eyes peering from behind the Mona Lisa, a woman levitating for no apparent reason in the middle of an over-turned office and a minute of surreal, seizure-inducing Japanese animation inspired mischief have in common? All are part of a new 13-spot branding ID package for MHD, MTV new all HD network, featuring an array of inspired original music and sound design created by Ear Goo Inc. All of the original music and sound design was mixed in 5.1. surround sound.

‘Visually these spots not only brand this new network, but are also meant to push the limits of high def televisions,’ explains Paul Goldman, Ear Goo Creative Director. ‘Similarly, they wanted us to create a full 5.1 surround sound experience for viewers. For us that meant getting very creative with the mix, and incorporating some inventive panning into the mix.’

Getting creative with the mix was just one aspect, the project also proved to be an exciting challenge for Goldman and his creative team because it involved not only composing some inventive music and sound design but also contributing conceptually to the spots in a way that few projects normally do.

‘MTV came to us with all of this amazing visual footage and very few preconceived notions about what they wanted audio-wise other than that they wanted to make it a true 5.1 experience for the viewer,’ said Goldman. ‘They basically left us alone with the footage and encouraged use to be experimental. We dug a lot deeper conceptually than we’sre normally asked to. I think we surprised them in how much creative thought we put into it.’

The thirteen spots run an amazing gamut musically. From the complex ambient and techno grooves heard in the spot ‘Conveyor Belt,’ which depicts human beings lying on Styrofoam packages moving slowly along a conveyor belt and the aforementioned Japanese anime celebration entitled ‘Lucky,’ to the lush cinematic expanse of ‘Deep in the Forest,’ a Tim Burton-esque short that depicts a man with the head of a deer moving slowly through a beautifully lush forest filled with both real and animated animal cut-outs, the project stands as a testament to Ear Goo collective musical talent.

But for Goldman, what stands out is not the music they composed but the music they didn’st. ‘For each of these IDs we asked ourselves ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§what the story and what can we do to further it?’s’ says Goldman.

For some IDs like ‘Blinds,’ which depicts simply two eyes peering from behind a pair of blinds while the sound of crashing garbage cans, a cat meow and a car speeding away can be heard, or ‘Mona Lisa,’ a Month Python inspired bit of a comedy featuring some nervous humming as the only audio accompanying the visual of a pair of eyes peer out from behind the famous painting.

‘For both of these very subtle sound design played a huge role in furthering the concept,’ Goldman explains. ‘The sound design actually adds a whole layer context and story that wasn’st initially there in the footage.
In addition, Ear Goo also composed the music and sound design heard during the show open/show packaging for Uncompressed, MHD only specific show featuring live performances from top artists.

About Ear Goo:
Founded by Paul Goldman in 1994, Ear Goo ( has grown enormously the past 11 years, building a well-earned reputation for its original music, sound design that challenges clients with musical concepts that go beyond the expected. It is that adventurous mindset that accounts for Ear Goo repeat business from the world leading television networks and advertising agencies, including MTV, TMWA/Chiat Day, McCann Erickson DDB Chicago and Leo Burnett. Their current showreel includes spots for Powerade, Footlocker, McDonald, USPS and Volkswagen.

Creative Credits:
Client: MTV
Project: MHD branding IDs

Agency: MTV, New York, NY
Agency Creative Director: Romy Mann, Jeffrey Keyton
Agency Design Director: Rodger Belknap
Agency Producer: Leslie Legare
Director: Sam Borkson

Music/Sound Design/Audio Post: Ear Goo, New York, NY
Music Creative Director: Paul Goldman
Music Executive Producer: Cindy Chen

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