Michael Van Bodegom Smith
Music for Media
Michael Van Bodegom-Smith first began his musical career as a classical trumpet player based in Detroit. Michael acted as the principal chair for the Detroit Youth Symphony Wind Ensemble from 2015-2017. He had the pleasure of studying under outstanding musicians such as Dr. Ken Thompson, Dr. Scott Boerman, and Brian Moon. During this time, Michael had taken an interest in arranging and composition. He would compose and arrange works for various ensembles in the Metro Detroit area. These early works included arrangements for brass quintet, saxophone quintet, and full orchestra.
In late 2016, Michael began studying music composition at Columbia College Chicago under Ilya Levinson and Sebastian Hudyts. He concurrently studied with Scott Hall and Peter Saxe with a focus in jazz performance and composition. Michael has launched a career in music for media and has written music for countless productions in the realm of film, theatre, animation, and games. Through these collaborations, Michael has worked with exceptional filmmakers on award-winning live action and animated films, such as Beyond the Door (Dashawna Wright), Kenya’s Symphony (Carlos Douglas Jr.), Me & Myself (Xiwen Miao), and Buster and Jamson (Del Sego & Frank Porcello). He actively composes remotely for films and television in Los Angeles and New York City. Michael's work for media has received international attention from festivals such as the The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival (Best Picture), Chicago Horror Film Festival, Indie Horror Festival (Best Score), Twin Tiers International Film Festival NYC, and Reel Cinema Fest (Best Score). During his work in the film industry Michael has had the opportunity to study with prominent media composers such as David Wingo, Garry Schyman, and Kubilay Üner.
Michael’s music outside of media has been played by groups such as the Chicago City-Wide Orchestra, Concept/21 Ensemble, and the New Music Ensemble (of Columbia College Chicago). These works feature original compositions that range from orchestral chamber works to big band swing charts. Michael's score for the animation "Kenya's Symphony" has been performed and recorded by a 60 piece orchestra comprised of international world class musicians.
Michael is currently based in Los Angeles, California where he works primarily as a composer for media. In addition to composing, Michael also works as an educator with the Academic Center for Tutoring where he teaches music theory, piano, and aural skills. He also is an active participant in the Los Angeles and Chicago music scenes as a trumpeter and pianist. Michael has shared the stage with musicians such as Bernard Purdie, Jon Irabagon, Donny McCaslin, and Cassandra O'Neal.
Michael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
There are many stories of musicians who picked up their first instrument at the age of four; I am not one of those people. Due to complications of my childhood, I was rarely exposed to music of any kind. The ambience of my youth was not defined by Mozart or Beethoven; nor pop or rock music. My first legitimate exposure to music was when I stumbled upon an old “Game Boy Color” and “Game Boy Advance”.