Sacred Noise’s Michael Montes “Scores” Again

May 18, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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Michael Montes, the award-winning composer/creative director/co-founder of music/sound design house Sacred Noise recently scored two new independent films—America Brown and Belle—both of which premiered at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, held May 1 through May 9.

Written and directed by filmmaker Paul Black and starring Michael Rappaport, Natasha Lyonne, Karen Black and newcomer Ryan Kwante, America Brown is described as a coming-of-age drama filled with "emotional, dreamy tinged” music. “It's not dark, but there is a sense of sadness in it," says Montes, who worked closely with the director on the sound and placement of the music. Montes used a string ensemble, piano and acoustic guitar. "The challenge for me was doing a lot of musical experimenting. I wrote a lot of pieces—more than we would ever use—played them for Paul and after detailed discussions I moved forward from there."

Belle, a short film directed by New York filmmaker Ruth Sergel, features Klezmer-style compositions recorded live using tuba, clarinet, cello, violin and trombone. "Klezmer music is filled with a lot of spirituality and joy," says Montes. "I did a lot of research was able to find some early recordings made in the 1900s. Listening to those records helped me understand the tonality, instrumentation and the spirit of it all."

For more information on Sacred Noise, visit

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