Michael Penn

(May 15, 2014– Los Angeles, CA) – Composer Michael Penn (BOOGIE NIGHTS, SUNSHINE CLEANING, HBO’s GIRLS) was recognized last night with a BMI Award for his work on SHOWTIME’s MASTERS OF SEX.

Every year Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) salutes the composers of music featured in the past year’s top-grossing films, top-rated primetime network television series and highest-ranking cable network programs at its annual Film & TV Awards.

“We are thrilled to honor Michael Penn for his work on this show. Not only is MASTERS OF SEX a top rated show, but Michael’s music for it is sheer genius,” said Doreen Ringer-Ross, VP of Film/TV Relations of BMI. “The full-length show open for MASTERS OF SEX is comprised of clever and creative images that, together with Michael’s unique theme, totally define the show’s spirit. This is especially great in a day where TV themes are disappearing.”

“It’s wonderfully nice to be recognized by BMI in this way,” said Penn. “I am, and have long been, so thankful for the support of Doreen and Del [Bryant, President and CEO] and all at BMI. Especially now, as recorded music’s value is no longer centered in manufacturing, but rather in performance.”

MASTERS OF SEX is a period piece about the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, Masters and Johnson. One of the prominent sonic textures Penn uses throughout the score is the sound of a 1940s keyboard instrument called the Novachord – an early polyphonic tube synthesizer.

Said Penn, “Because Michael Sheen’s Dr. Masters character is so detached from his own feelings, I felt something of a clinical, otherworldly sound would be effective and interesting. In some ways, they were more sophisticated electronic instruments than the ones being made now.”

Singer and songwriter, Michael Penn ventured into film scoring when he was asked by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson to score the films HARD EIGHT and BOOGIE NIGHTS. Michael Penn’s debut album March launched him into international renown with it’s first single, top 10 modern rock hit “No Myth”. The brother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn and the eldest son of actor/director Leo Penn and actress Eileen Ryan, Michael Penn has released five albums as a singer/songwriter.

It was Paul Thomas Anderson who would lure Penn into film and television composing first with 1996’s HARD EIGHT and then with the 1998 film BOOGIE NIGHTS. Penn continued to be an independent film darling with his heartbreakingly honest scores to THE LAST KISS, Nanette Burnstein’s Sundance hit AMERICAN TEEN, SUNSHINE CLEANING (starring Amy Adams), THAT EVENING SUN (starring Hal Holbrook), THE COMEDIANS OF COMEDY (starring Patton Oswalt and Zach Galifianakis), and SOLITARY MAN (starring Michael Douglas).

The second season of MASTERS OF SEX will air on SHOWTIME beginning Sunday, July 13, 2014.

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