Michael Kramer is an award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist for film, television, and video games. Within the past few years, Michael has become a highly recognizable name in the animation composition realm. He’s best known for his work on the Disney XD animated series, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, for which he earned a 2017 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition.
The composer’s work on the series has also been nominated for a 2018 Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production. Receiving an Annie Award nomination is exponentially rewarding given that the Awards specifically focus on accomplishments in animation. “It’s a huge honor because I know how freakishly talented my fellow nominees are. It’s very humbling to be mentioned in the same category with them,” said Michael.
In creating music for a beloved series, Michael has been able to relish in creating a fresh new sound for the Star Wars Universe, and has successfully avoided the intimidation one might expect a composer to feel when following John Williams’ original iconic score. Each time Michael sees his name next to John’s in the end credits, “It’s a surreal experience. And to be a part of a universe with such a deep rooted musical history is humbling.”
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures has had two seasons thus far and audiences are eager to see more. Music for season 2 was recorded with a 50-piece orchestra at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, TN. “It was amazing working with killer brass players and musicians so well versed in pop music, so they were great with rhythms,” added Michael of the experience.
Michael also scores the hit Cartoon Network TV series, LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu, for which he won a BMI TV Music Award in 2012 and was nominated for his first Annie Award in 2015. Running for seven seasons and counting and airing in over 27 countries, the action-packed animated series features a playful and imaginative score brought to life by live instruments from around the world, all of which Michael plays himself. Season 8 of the series will premiere in Spring of 2018. On the big screen, Michael’s music can heard in recent releases Furious 7, Thor: The Dark World, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, on which he collaborated with Brian Tyler.
Michael approaches each score like a carpenter, with a keen eye for craftsmanship. Combining a spirit of inventiveness with meticulous attention to detail, he believes that materials matter, and uses his expansive collection of instruments, cutting edge technology, and digital samples to craft a score uniquely fitting of each project. A passion for the process of film making lies at the core of his work, and through collaborating with directors and producers, he relishes the challenge of guiding a project from script to final mix. Michael is making strides in the animation film music community and we are eager to see what the future holds for this young composer on the rise.