Do you specialize in film/television music or game music?

I consider myself to be a dual citizen of both disciplines, which have many similarities but distinct cultures, technologies, and practices. In the end, everything is about musical storytelling, whether those stories are fixed or co-authored by a player.

Do you work with live musicians, or do you produce your music with a computer?

Either or both, depending on the artistic needs of a project and its budgetary realities. Some projects need a live orchestra and chorus, and others are best served by digital instruments. I am generally a proponent of using some live players when possible, for the vitality and organic quality they bring to a score. A little human musicianship goes a long way!

How much do you charge?

In order for me to give you a meaningful number I need to ask a few basic questions about your project. (A big one is how much music you plan to have overall.) Please drop me a line, even if you’re just budgeting out options.

What do you know about dynamic/interactive scoring for games?

This is a big part of what I do. When I started out in game music I designed an adaptive music engine from scratch. (Glad those days are past!) I’m an active gamer, which keeps the intuitive sense of how music responds to play fresh in my head. I’m happy to help you plan the adaptive aspects of your score, and given my background in audio development, I can “speak programmer”.

What’s your work process like for film?

With narrative film, I immerse myself in the story and find out everything I can about the director’s intentions for story and score. Through reference tracks, discussion, and occasional hand-waving we collaboratively establish a working vocabulary for discussing music and its role in the story. After that it’s an iterative discuss-write-rewrite process until final recording and delivery.

Documentaries often require a different approach. Some are closer to dramatic features in sensibility, while others may deal with intimate personal stories and require a more delicate touch. Others still might need little more than raw musical energy, and a sense of forward motion. Either way I work with the director to find a central narrative or theme to the material, and base the musical approach on that.

What’s your favorite video game and movie?

Hard to pick one in either category! The original Star Wars films, Dead Poets Society, and The Little Mermaid will always occupy a special place in my heart. Some favorites games are Civ V, Skyrim, Dishonored, and (from childhood) Psi-5 Trading Company and Infocom’s classics.

I have a story to tell and would like to discuss music.

Feel welcome to contact me via email or phone.

Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  2. Emerald, Texas // Highlights
  3. Mythic Battle // Highlights
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  5. Investigations // Highlights
  6. Home Room // Highlights
  7. Sands of Arabia // Highlights
  8. Spider Cult // Highlights
  9. Poker Night // Highlights