11 Things You Didn't Know About Composer Michael A. Levine
Composer Michael A. Levine has been in the music industry for over two decades now with his most recent work ranging from Resident Evil: Biohazard's famous theme "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" to the new LEGO DC Super Hero Girls animated shorts. We wanted to learn more about Michael, so we asked him to reveal 11 things people might not know about him.
1.My parents met in WWII when both were in Naval Intelligence and learning Japanese. My dad became a Japanese scholar after the war and, years later, I was born in Tokyo.
2.I was the lead singer and electric violinist in a band in NYC in the 80s called No Guitars. We shared a keyboard player named Tom Pile with another band. Tom quit the other band to play with No Guitars full-time. The other band was Bon Jovi.
3.I was asked to compose music for a “throwaway” jingle for an ad agency who had already decided on another campaign but needed an alternative for the client to reject. The “throwaway” I wrote (with lyrics by Ken Shuldman) was the Kit Kat Gimme A Break jingle. It ended up not being thrown away after all.
4.I composed the first ever concerto written for pedal steel guitar and orchestra. It was premiered in Nashville in 2005 with Gary Morse on Pedal Steel.
5.I got my break in the LA composing scene because I played the Irish fiddle. I played on Harry Gregson Williams' score for Veronica Guerin and Harry asked me to score the climactic murder scene after his own efforts had been rejected by producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Through Harry I met Hans Zimmer.
6.I wrote the Spider Pig choir arrangement in The Simpsons Movie after Hans Zimmer asked me to do something “beautiful…and short!”
7.My wife and I were high school sweethearts but only got married four years ago. Here are Then and Now Pics. Can you tell the difference?
8.I got the job composing for Lego because the original director, Todd Grimes, had worked with me on the George Lucas-produced Star Wars Detours. Detours is an animated parody of Star Wars featuring Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green. We did 39 episodes. For reasons only known to Disney it was never released.
9.Ironically, Todd got another job at Dreamworks partway through and Rick Morales took over as director. However, Rick and producer Sandi Smith decided to keep me on anyway.
10.Grey DeLisle Griffin, who voices the teen-aged Lego Wonder Woman, also was in Star Wars Detours. But I actually met Grey for the first time at an animation convention in Ohio run by my son.
11.Michael produced the Lorde version of Everybody Wants to Rule The World that was used in The Hunger Games Catching Fire soundtrack then for this cool trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity. His daughter, Mari “Samira” Barreto of Samira & The Wind sang all the background vocals - the only person other than Lorde to ever sing on a Lorde recording.
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