Michael Montes

Michael Montes is an American composer.

Life and career

Michael Montes is a composer of music for films, album projects and all other media. He was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Anne Pryor, an American nurse and Mario Montes, a Peruvian doctor who came to the United States in the early fifties. The family eventually settled in Eden, NY.[1]

He began piano studies at age seven, quit in frustration, returned to his study of music at age thirteen and later dropped out of medical school in order to pursue composition as his life's work.

As a child his first film music experience occurred while watching the Jules Verne classic Mysterious Island. Years later he discovered that Bernard Herrmann had composed the score.

Later on Pink Floyd became an influence, specifically their innovative production techniques and use of hallucinatory textures.

While studying at Bard College[1] he joined the chamber choir that specialized in the works of Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez.

After dropping out of medical school he steeped himself in the world of Brian Eno, tape loops and musique concrète while working with modern dance troupe Floorplay.

Moving to New York City he began an extended period of composing in every possible genre for television commercials while collecting multiple Clio and AICP awards.[2] Several of his pieces are included in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

He was brought in to work with Aimee Mann's band 'Til Tuesday as keyboardist for their album Everything's Different Now and subsequent tour.[3]

He created the Zoar project, a series of dark atmospheric albums. The debut album, Cassandra, was released on the Philip Glass label Point Music.

He began a collaboration with noted filmmaker Bill Morrison, scoring his films Ghost Trip and Trinity.[4][5]

He conceived and produced cellist Erik Friedlander's breakthrough solo album Maldoror.[6]

Allan Kozinn of The New York Times called his String Quartet No. 2 "an experiment in intensity...a forceful wave of sound."[7]

Subsequently he has composed scores for numerous films including Joan Stein's Oscar® nominated One Day Crossing, Alexander Olch's The Windmill Movie, Michael Tully's Don't Leave Home and Sophia Takal's Always Shine.[8][9][10][11]

His latest personal albums are Persona Ficta and When the World Was Now.

Favorite authors include Charles Bowden, John Berger, Henry Miller and Cormac McCarthy.[1]

He lives in New York City with his son Mario.[1]


  • Into the Dark: New Year, New You (2019)
  • The Changing Same (2018)
  • Don't Leave Home (2018)
  • The Sweet Requiem (2018)
  • City of Joel (documentary) (2018)
  • The Sweet Requiem (2018)
  • Funeral (short) (2018)
  • Don't Leave Home (2018)
  • Sayid (short) (2017)
  • Brigsby Bear (additional music) (2017)
  • Always Shine (2016)
  • To Die or to Dream (short) (2015)
  • King Georges (documentary) (2015)
  • Applesauce (2015)
  • Wild Canaries (2014)
  • Ping Pong Summer (2014)
  • 35 Year Old Man (short) (2012)
  • Welcome to the Machine (documentary) (2012)
  • Danland (documentary) (2012)
  • Septien (2011)
  • Consent (2010)
  • Prescott Place (short) (2010)
  • Private Party (short) (2009)
  • The Windmill Movie (documentary) (2008)
  • Kung Fu Granny (short) (2008)
  • Slaying Goliath (documentary) (2008)
  • Able Danger (2008)
  • Red Dog. Scooter. Applesauce. (2006)
  • The Lovers (short) (2006)
  • 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America: Gold Rush (TV series documentary) (2006)
  • Solidarity. (short) (2005)
  • Live at Five (short) (2005)
  • A Perfect Fit (2005)
  • City Minutes (short) (2005)
  • America Brown (2004)
  • Belle (short) (2004)
  • Sunset Town (short) (2003)
  • Trinity (short) (2002)
  • Secrets of the Dead (TV series documentary) (2002–2011)
  • One Day Crossing (short) (2001)
  • Majestic (video game) (2001)
  • Ghost Trip (short) (2001)
  • Remembering Marshall: Thirty Years Later (TV documentary) (2000)
  • Whipped (2000)
  • Cusp (short) (2000)
  • I Remember (short) (1999)
  • The Headhunter's Sister (1997)
  • MugShot (1996)
  • Covert Action (1988)
  • Firehouse (1987)
  • Hangmen (1987)
  • Pumping Iron II: The Women (1985)



  • Persona Ficta (2017)
  • Always Shine (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2017)
  • King Georges (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2016)
  • Wild Canaries (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2015)
  • Ping Pong Summer (Original Motion Picture Score) (2014)
  • Welcome to the Machine (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2014)
  • Danland (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2012)
  • The Earlier Time (2011)
  • Septien (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2011)
  • Filmscores (2010)
  • Chamber Works (2009)
  • Piano at Dusk (2009)
  • Such Siren Worlds (2008)



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