Michael Smith is an award winning composer for TV & film, Music Director and keyboardist. A key associate and long-term collaborator both for live work and film scores with Damon Albarn. Musical Director and keyboardist for Gorillaz; Blur, and The Good, the Bad & the Queen.
Michael has 35 years of professional musical experience as a performing instrumentalist and as a composer, arranger and orchestrator in film and television.
Michael's compositional style mixes classical instrumentation with contemporary synthesis and a sound knowledge of orchestration.
Michael has a constant desire to keep expanding his sound palette and to continue to use traditional instrumentation with contemporary sounds.
His compositional work has an emphasis on emotion and emotive themes. At times, a delicate and minimalistic approach reveals itself in his music. His emphasis is to convey emotion and a strong sense of melody in his writing.
Michael is not shy to express a depth of musical palette, be it classical orchestration in a cinematic drama context or pure electronic soundscapes reflective of German Electronica from the 70s and 80s.
Some of his works / projects as a composer include:
The Kid Who Would Be King (2018)
20th Century Fox
Director: Joe Cornish
Cuba Pictures/BBC Films
Director: Rufus Norris
8 Minutes Idle (2012)
Director: Mark Simon Hewis
The Exchange (2019)
Director Dan Mazer
Easy Virtue (2008)
Director: Stephan Elliot
Last Stop Coney Island. The Life & Photography of Harold Feinstein (2019)
Director: Andy Dunn
Director: Scott Calonico
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4 ReviewsEndorse Michael Smith
I was lucky enough to have Mike compose the score for my BBC and BFI feature. He had to respond to a pretty specific and non-traditional use of music to help drive the narrative. He responded to it with amazing work that fitted the brief, the narrative, and the emotions of each section perfectly. And even though I was probably quite frustrating with my specificity, Mike managed to guide my very loose nuggets of ideas and make them far more tangible and exquisite than I could have ever imagined. His use of non-traditional instrumentation was my highlight. I hope I can work with Mike again!
Working with Mike is a joy. He's a serious musician and arranger, but also a sensitive and supportive collaborator. Mike combines his wealth of experience playing live at the highest level with a gentler, quieter love arranging orchestral instruments and a passion for movies.
Films are about people, places and stories, and writing music for film requires emotional intelligence as well as musical skill - Mike has all this in spades.
I look forward to working with him again soon.
Met Mike up at Sundance 2019 randomly. We had a great chat before I even knew he was a musican. He expressed great interest in latest spy story project I was working on and the next thing I knew we were collaborating. I had temped in some ambient/synthwave-y tracks on my latest documentary short, "Betrayal" and, right from the start, Mike knew exactly the sound that I was looking for. We even were able to work through the pandemic to complete the score for our onine premiere with Tribeca Film Fest.
Now we're working with Mike on the feature length version of the documentary.
Working with Mike was a pleasure and a success. The two short films ‘The Running of the Deer and ‘The Walkers’ we made together were silent and the music was therefore an absolutely crucial part of the storytelling. He has very strong ideas but is also a sensitive collaborator; which makes him an ideal screen composer. His skill and versatility as a musician meant that we could very quickly try different things and experiment to picture in the edit. We worked together on assemblies as well as the final picture. It was fun. And it was on time. The two films were very different tonally and Mi