Michael Wall

My Story

I was born in Sunflower, Mississippi and began playing the trumpet at the age of 9. My early gigs included military funerals, church organ duets and composing/arranging for small brass ensembles, marching and jazz bands. After an injury to my embouchure, I was forced to stop playing the trumpet at the age of 16 and began working hard at learning the piano. I attended Rutgers University and studied jazz piano with Kenny Barron and piano technique with Wanda Maximillien. I studied experimental music/composition with Daniel Goode and began working with modern/ballet dance under the mentorship of Robert “Tigger” Benford. 

After college I left for NYC and worked as a fulltime composer and dance accompanist. I spent summers on faculty at The American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival, where I played and composed for many choreographers. During the year, I was living on the Bowery in NYC and performing with microtonal musician Skip La Plante. Most of my early commissions were recorded at Peter Karl’s studio in Brooklyn, NY and this is where my love for recording developed. I moved to Philadelphia and worked as an assistant to recording engineer Darren Morze, while learning mixing and mastering from Gordon Rice. In that recording studio, I was learning the analog recording process while the mixing and mastering was being done digitally. My own studio now uses a mixture of both. 

At this time, I met my now wife and we moved to Columbus, OH with our new son. I continued composing for film and dance, but wanted a more stable income so I started working at The Ohio State University. This led to my current faculty position at The University of Utah where I teach sound design, fundamentals of collaboration, rhythmic theory and play for ballet, modern and improvisation classes. 

For the last 15 years I have also been a part of the development of online music distribution by independent artists. My first website, asimplesound.com, was built with designer Jamie Karczewski and hosted 40 artists and over 2,000 tracks. My current website, soundFORMovement.com, has a collection of over 500 tracks of sound design made for dance/film. I am also a member of the Salt Lake Electric Ensemble, a group of nine musicians performing the works of Terry Riley, Phillip Glass and our own using Ableton Live.

Sound for Movement is...

...made for dancers, choreographers, dance educators and musicians learning to make music for dance. Students can find license-free music to use for choreography. Dance teachers can find hundreds of tracks organized by meter and BPM to discover music that fits their classes. Choreographers can listen to hundreds of pieces I've composed that can be licensed or edited for new projects. 

Dance educators and musicians looking to bring more music practices into your class rooms, will find a wealth of supplemental teaching materials. I have created materials for musicians to learn how to start playing or improving your accompanying abilities. Choreographers can watch the video tutorials on how to compose music for your own projects. 

My goal is to create a music library where dancers and teachers can find music in any time signature — a library in all the major meters for dancers from 20bpm to 200bpm . Here on my website for download and on Spotify so that you can stream in class.   

I am also available for collaborations. I am ready to work on all projects big and small.