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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jan 2019 > MICHAEL PRICE


Specialising in full orchestra and contemporary electronic scoring, Michael Price has worked on all manner of blockbuster movies and high-profile TV shows – and in 2015, released debut album, Entanglement to critical acclaim. MusicTech visited the Emmy winner to find out about his creative process…

It’s quite some feat for any composer to reach the lofty heights of scoring for either multi-millionpound cinematic blockbusters or award-winning household-name TV shows. Yet Yorkshire-born producer and music editor Michael Price has had major success in both disciplines – and has still found the time to produce a debut solo album Rolling Stone described as “gorgeous”.

Price began his career working as a pianist/ composer in contemporary dance, before studying electronic recording techniques at Surrey University on the Tonmeister course. Within five years, he was understudy to the late Michael Kamen, assisting on the film score for 1997 science-fiction movie Event Horizon, orchestrating and programming electronic sounds.

This successful collaboration led to a fruitful five-year working relationship that would later lead to numerous high-profile film-score projects. These have included the role of music editor/arranger on the dystopian thriller Children Of Men and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and additional music arranger for 2008 Bond movie Quantum Of Solace.

Equally at ease writing for action movies, romance or comedy, Price has comfortably transitioned into the world of TV scoring, co-composing the music for BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated Sherlock alongside David Arnold, and British crime drama Unforgotten. Meanwhile, Price has displayed his neo-classical brilliance on his 2015 debut album Entanglement, which he’s recently followed up with the ambitious location-recording project, Tender Symmetry, released in August 2018…

MusicTech Before you started composing for film, what was your background in music?

Michael Price As a kid growing up in Yorkshire, music was a shared experience playing in brass bands and garages. I was the world’s worst guitarist, but we’d all go round a friend’s house and try to write songs. I can remember seeing a Roland Juno-106 for the first time in a music shop in Bingley. Envisaging the possibilities that electronics could bring to music was so exciting. I literally remember pushing my nose up against the window of this music shop and saying to my parents: “Can I have all my birthdays and Christmases at once?” But they just couldn’t afford one and there was no equivalent, like a £5 app on your phone!

MT Did you wait until hardware was more affordable, or get started with software?

MP Like most people of my vintage, the next stage was buying an Atari ST. I got a second-hand 520ST, a copy of Cubase and a Roland General MIDI sound console, which was extraordinary, because it was like opening a door into the structure of the music that I’d always played and written on paper when I tried to write classical pieces. There was something about being able to create and visualise music through the window of the screen and manipulate the structure and sound that I found endlessly fascinating, and still do.

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About MusicTech

As another year sails off into the horizon, it’s time for us to take stock of the plethora of tech, gear, software, hardware and everything in-between that has landed on our doormat this year. Yep, you guessed it – the time is upon us once more to decide who receives our annual Gear Of The Year Awards. This year, we’ve once again enabled readers to vote for their favourite gear online, and, combined with our editorial deliberations, we have selected the ultimate winners for each category as well as those Highly Commended runners-up. Elsewhere, our pages are packed with tutorials, reviews of the latest hardware and software (some of which may make it into next year’s Gear Of The Year) and much, much more. We hope you enjoy the issue.