Music is an intangible element in film, TV, and video games. Many times, a score, theme, or even a few notes is asked to deliver the emotions that either a story or character lacks. Granted, that’s the worst case scenario. But when both the narrative and music work in harmony, it can yield the some legendary cinematic experiences. Submitted for your approval are a handful of those: Lawrence of Arabia, Taxi Driver, Blade Runner, Inception, and, for you horror fans, 2019’s Us.
Recently, we spoke with composer Michael Abels about his craft. Abels got the bug for music with those three famous notes from The Sound of Music. After that, there was no going back. This accomplished musician has a true gift, and in the span of just three films he’s shown how versatile and impacting his work can be to the project at hand.
Abel worked magic on Jordan Peele‘s Get Out and Us, and his latest album is a very ceremonious and classical score to Cory Finley’s Bad Education – a dark comedy about an embezzlement scandal in a New York public school. Abels scored it, at times, larger than life to emphasize the cynicism and tragic humor in the true story. There’s as much pomp and circumstance as there is plentiful plundering.
We, and our co-host with most (Bryan Kluger of BoomStickComics) spoke to Abels for over an hour, and this was one of the most fun interviews we’ve done in a while. Michael is not just a gifted musician because he can write a catchy tune. He also goes so deep into his art that the philosophy and the stories behind certain cues are even more rousing and amazing than the score itself. Sometimes.
Abels is capable, confident, charismatic, and if that’s not enough to land him any gig in the film business, he’s also got Steven Spielberg as a recommendation. That’s a great story. We go into all that and more on this episode of the podcast. Enjoy!
Check out more of Michael’s music at his official website: https://michaelabels.com/