From the first time he held a guitar at the young age of 14, Miguel Batalha knew that music was his passion. Now a composer, sound designer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher, his style reflects an appealing combination of classical training and an eclectic, exciting, globally-inspired vibe. Creating unique soundtracks for both film and video game projects, as well as composing original songs for independent artists, Miguel is rapidly becoming one of the most innovative, sought-after young talents on the contemporary music landscape.
Raised in Portugal among a musical family, Miguel was only two when his father noticed his strong connection to music’s power and influence. Like most children, Miguel resisted bedtime – that is, until his father introduced him to the voice of Maria Callas. Whenever Miguel heard the renowned soprano sing, he happily drifted off to sleep, and before long, he was appreciating the masters – Chopin, Mozart, and even Gershwin – fully mesmerized by the magic classical music could elicit.
By age 10, Miguel’s tastes began to shift, moving from classical to punk. This began a lifelong exploration of other genres and styles, and by 14, he was a hard core rock aficionado, begging his mother to buy him a guitar. She did, and although it wasn’t the best or most expensive, it was his. He loved it, and this same acoustic guitar remains his favorite to this day.
Miguel’s formal guitar training began shortly after his mother’s gift. The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn, and by 17, he was studying piano, and teaching himself drums and bass while playing in various local rock and grunge bands. During this period, he also recorded his first rock-infused EP which gathered his earliest fan base.
Within a short time of performing at local clubs, venues and music festivals, Miguel started getting noticed as a young artist with a talent beyond his years. His reputation spread, and he became a popular session musician and freelance producer at regional recording studios. By now a solo act, he began composing original, experimental pieces and seeking new ways to express feelings, emotions, ideas and stories through music. After a break to study arts and humanities at the Classical University at Lisbon, he returned to music, embarking on additional training in composition, theory and sound engineering, and educating himself on the more technical side of the profession.
A self-proclaimed gaming “geek,” Miguel’s interest in developing scores for visual media was a natural progression. After hearing Mike Reagan’s soundtrack for the famous God of War, he was hooked. Inspired by composers such as Reagan and Klaus Badelt (Gladiator, X-Men), he began developing and distributing soundtrack demos, and was quickly pursued for projects with internationally known companies including Forthright Entertainment, Bad Juju Games, and Candella Software, makers of the highly celebrated The Fast and the Furious, Alien Jihad and Cargasm. He is currently working for the official patch of Tripwire Interactive’s Red Orchestra 2, recently named Game of the Year.
Never one to limit himself, Miguel is also involved in film scoring. His most recent work will be featured at the 2013 Short10Cinema Film Challenge. Stylistically, he hopes to continue emulating some of his heroes, such as classical guitarist and composer Antonio Lauro, and work to incorporate the beauty, complexity and versatility of classical guitar – in his opinion, an underrated instrument - in his soundtracks.
In spite of his vast array of accomplishments, Miguel Batalha is still a student of music, and probably always will be. For him, the potential for musical expression is both inspiring and limitless. With its ability to tell a story, evoke an emotion or touch the heart, it is always life-enhancing. As Miguel sees it, music is, in short, a necessary luxury.