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Michael Levine scores Adrift In Manhattan
23-Dec-2006 -

Official Selection in "Dramatic Competition"

Composer Michael A. Levine scores Adrift in Manhattan, an official selection in the Dramatic Competition at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. The third feature from Hispanic writer/director Alfredo de Villa (Washington Heights, Yellow); Adrift in Manhattan is an ensemble psychological thriller featuring William Baldwin and Heather Graham that intertwines the stories of three lonely strangers bound by their commute on a New York subway and the thematic motif of sight. Adrift in Manhattan premieres Thursday, January 18 at the festival.

In addition to writing the score, Michael Levine also performs throughout the film, accompanied by only two other musicians. Levine explains, "In scoring a deeply-personal story like 'Adrift in Manhattan,' it is important to keep the score on an intimate human level. So the instrumentation is much more contained rather than a typical big expansive 'Hollywood' film score." The instruments Levine plays on the score include guitar, mandolin, piano, violin and tenor violin (an octave lower than a traditional violin). Levine also co wrote with Carrolee Mann, the film's end credit song, Through Your Eyes performed by Heitor Pereira.

Michael and his awards...
In addition to film scoring, Michael Levine was recognized last year by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) with a Top Television Series award for his music to the hit CBS series Cold Case. He also continues to score the top-rated CBS series, Close to Home.

Winner of two Clio Awards for his work in advertising, Michael Levine's ground-breaking combination of high-tech sound design with classical orchestration became his calling card. His music for the first of his two Clio Awards, the Mitsubishi Eclipse campaign, combined Japanese flute, an operatic soprano, world percussion, and electronically processed animal noises. His best-known ads are his jingles Wacky Wild Kool-Aid Style, Motts and Motts of Motts, and, most infamously, Give me a Break for Kit Kat, which is widely considered to be one of the most effective "earworms," a term used to describe a bit of music that you can't get out of your head.

A short biography...
Born in Tokyo, Michael was raised in the Midwest and schooled in Canada (McGill Univ.), Wisconsin (UW), and Boston (Berklee College of Music). He moved to New York City where his first job was playing violin on the streets. In the early 80s he founded the legendary No Guitars, one of the first bands to have a video on MTV. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue film & TV composing.

In addition to his film and on-going television scoring work, Levine is also music producer for Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band," a mockumentary premiering in February 2007. All songs for the show are written by its star, 11 year old Nat Wolff. The Web site has already had 7 million plays of "Crazy Car," a song Levine co-produced.

Levine is also working with William Phillip McKinley on mounting a production of Orpheus Electronica, a multi-media techno-opera which sets the myth of Orpheus in an underground dance party. McKinley directed the Broadway hit musical The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, and also directs The Ringling Bros. Circus.

For more info, visit Michael Levine's website.

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