News update: #TheIvorsComposerAwards have been announced with Michael receiving a nomination for Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble for his piece Mother Medusae. Performed by Thomas Gould (violin), Kristjan Randalu (piano) and Stephan Braun (cello). The work mixes jazz and classical harmonies with rich melodies and percussive rhythms.
Michael recently scored a wonderful 60 minute documentary called ’Churchill and the Movie Mogul’, broadcast on BBCFour. This highly praised film, directed by John Fleet tells the little known WW2 story of Winston Churchill’s creative relationship with the movie mogul Alexander Korda. Find out about future screenings here: https://www.januarypictures.com/churchill-and-the-movie-mogul.
Michael has been working again with award winning director Hugo Berkeley (The Jazz Ambassadors) on a documentary series called ‘Hunter-Hacker’. Remember the NHS ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack? Meet the young guy who fixed it! Watch the fascinating true life story here and find out what’s going on in the world of Cyber Crime and Internet security: https://www.tomorrowunlocked.com.
Photograph by Peter Saunders
Michael is an award-winning composer with many film, television and pop music credits to his name including the score for Richard Loncraine’s feature Finding Your Feet starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. Other projects of note include the evocative jazz score to the acclaimed BBC/PBS documentary Jazz Ambassadors and Churchill and the Movie Mogul for BBCFour.
Michael’s composing credits also include Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles starring Zac Efron and Clare Danes and indie feature Forget Me Not (Winner London Independent Film Festival) starring Tobias Menzies. He is an accomplished arranger and provided string orchestrations for Ricky Gervais’ David Brent: Life On The Road. Michael’s music also appears in films including Wild Card starring Jason Statham, Wild Target with Emily Blunt, plus TV drama, The Wire.
Michael also works in partnership with DJ-producer Paul Oakenfold on film and documentary scores including Overture Pictures’ Nothing Like the Holidays starring Alfred Molina, and the award-winning Japanese anime feature, Vexille. He is also a member of the ZeroVU team with Nick and Mitch Taylor whose credits include Balls of Steel and Risk, nominated in 2019 for Best Music at the Idyllwild Festival, California.
Michael has scored many prestigious long-form documentaries including BAFTA-winning J’accuse, Einstein’s Big Idea and Battle of the Hood and Bismarck and National Geographic’s landmark ocean series Alien Deep and many others. He has three regional Emmy nominations, winning Best Instrumental Music for PBS’s ‘Tennessee Yearbook’ and an Ivors Composer Award nomination.
Michael studied piano and viola at the Centre for Young Musicians and Leeds College of Music. He also plays guitar, mandolin and assorted stringed instruments which often feature in his scores. In 2006 he gained a Masters in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music in London and was awarded the prestigious Joseph Horovitz Prize in Composition for Screen. As well as music for screen, Michael has composed for jazz, classical and choral ensembles.
'Queen of the World', a new documentary about Queen Elizabeth II commissioned by the UK's ITV. The hour long documentary will premiere on HBO at 8 PM Monday, October 1, 2018.
Original music and music production for feature film starring Zac Efron, Christian McKay and Claire Danes. Director, Richard Linklater. CinemaNX.
Get original soundtrack
UK Trailer featuring 'original music' cue (Me and Orson Welles / 2008 - CinemaNX/Detour Films)
Feature starring Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodriguez and John Leguizamo. Additional composition, orchestration and arranging on Paul Oakenfold's score. Overture Pictures.
Get original soundtrack
Jesse - I'm Not A War Hero (Nothing Like the Holidays / 2008 - Overture Pictures)
Opening Titles - Welcome Home Jesse (Nothing Like the Holidays / 2008 - Overture pictures)
Assistant to Paul Oakenfold and additional music on Japanese anime feature. Director Fumihiko Sori for Oxybot/Shochiku (in US, FUNimation Entertainment). Winner of Best Animated Feature at Philadelphia Film Festival 2008.
Get original soundtrack
Vexille goes Into Battle (Vexille / 2007 - FUNimation)
National Geographic (USA) series about the earths oceans. Directed by Gary Johnstone.
Check out the website
A six minute ‘behind the scenes’ video about the recording session that took place at Air-Edel Studios, London England during the scoring of the NatGeo TV series ‘Alien Deep’, featuring series director/producer Gary Johnstone.
We Wont Survive in Outer Space (Alien Deep Series, Episode 5 / 2012 - National Geographic)
A New Frontier (Alien Deep / 2012 - National Geographic)
Ride the Lava Flow (Alien Deep / 2012 - National Geographic series)
Composed and producer of track called 'In A Mellow Mood' by 'The Freddie Carleone Quartet' for feature film Wild Target, which features the actors Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt.
Composer of original music of Alexander Holt and Lance Roehrigs forthcoming feature film starring Gemma Jones and Tobias Menzies.
Watch the trailer
Film available for rental from iTunes
Get the soundtrack album from iTunes
Dawn on the South Bank (Forget Me Not / 2010 - Quicksilver Films)
iPod Party (Forget Me Not / 2010 - Quicksilver films)
Episode 10: Ramanga has come back from the dead to seek his revenge, capturing Vlad and Malik. Ramanga, intending to kill both the boys by extracting all their powers, has his comeuppance when the Count intervenes, just in time...almost.
Episode 13: This is towards the end of the final episode of the series. Vlad must say goodbye to his mother forever in this very emotional scene.
Episode 7: This is the opening sequence to episode 7. Malik is having a dream (or is it a nightmare?...) about his Mother who is banished to a distant dimension beyond the mirror.
Opening titles and closing credits theme music for 3rd series airing from October 2009.
2 hr documentary C4 (and PBS in USA). Director Gary Johnstone for Darlow Smithson/WGBH
Check out the website
1 hr documentary in 'Storyville' series (BBC2). Director Pascale Lamche, Zeta Productions
2 x 90 minute documentaries for Channel 4 in the UK and 2 x 1 hour documentaries for PBS in USA. Director Gary Johnstone for ITN Factual/Channel 4 UK
Watch free on 4OD
Composer of original music of Marcel Grants forthcoming feature film drama starring Caroline Ducey.
A reflective journey through sound, Terra Cognita has its roots in world music and jazz, and is a tribute to nature's power and beauty. Visit www.terracognita.co.uk
Michael's debut instrumental album, released originally on All That Records in 1996, now re-mastered and available on Rezzonator Music.
'Band on a Mission' is a cross pollination of classic underground rare groove and feel good contemporary funk n' soul in the shape of heartfelt songs and incredible instrumental pieces.Get it here.
Featuring legendary Brazilian percussionist, Airto Moreira, Terra Cognita is a tribute to nature’s power and beauty. A reflective journey through sound.Download here.
Lalomie Washburn wrote songs for Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin and sang back-up behind many soul greats. This album was co-written and produced with Mike in the 1990s. Sadly Lalomie passed away in 2004, but this collection is a testament to her enduring funkiness and uniquely sassy lyric writing.Get it from iTunes.
Produced and arranged by Ernie McKone and Michael, this album was originally released in 1995. The 70s jazz-funk influenced tunes feature the soulful vocals of Xavier Barnett, James Coleman and Ed Saunders.
Michael's first solo release, this jazz-fusion instrumental album was originally on the All That record label in 1996, now re-mastered and available on:Rezzonator Music
Released on DVD and enhanced CD, performing in concert with Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi during the 1994 reunion tour. Get it from iTunes.
Co-writer with Wookie and Lain Gray on Wookie's debut album. 'Back Up, Back Up' reached # 2 in the UK dance charts.
Writing and producing for new Soul II Soul album and for artists signed to the Soul II Soul label. Co-wrote 'Love Come Through' on album '1990 - A new Decade'.
Keyboards and guitar on album "Return of the Mack" including title track.
Co-producer and arranger of the album release in 1993. Co-writer of the track 'Sunshine of your Smile'.
Bass and synthesisers on album 'Apples'
Co-writer, arranger and musician on album 'Four Thousand Weeks Holiday'
Co-writer, arranger and musician on album 'Get Ahead'
Keyboards and vocoder on album ‘Songs To Remember’.
Keyboards, programming and guitar on album.
Keyboards, guitar on album.
Additional guitars and keyboards on the 1997 top 20 Hit Single. Produced by Hugh Padgham.