Michael is a composer, songwriter, music educator and producer.
August 1, 2020: New Electronic Album Music for Modern Dance releasing August 7!
As part of my new “Dixon Vault Series” of albums, this new release will feature original works written for modern dance, including pieces commissioned by modern dance choreographers Patti Weeks, Patricia Clark, Richard Southerland, and Marissa Nesbit McCray.
Much of my activity with choreographers was during the 1990s and early 2000s, much of it composed on non-computer hardware…making it especially challenging when a choreographer needed to make changes or add a cue. As I virtually dusted off these electronic recordings and listened to them for the first time in decades, I decided they were worthy of release to the world. Perhaps other dance instructors or choreographers might find these unique works useful in their creative efforts.
The album will be available worldwide on over 150 streaming and digital platforms like Pandora, Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube Music, Amazon.com, TikTok, Deezer, Tidal, iHeartRadio, Boomplay (Africa), UMA and Yandex (Russia), Tencent and NetEase (China), Hungama (India), Kdigital (Asia), and tons more!
June 24, 2020: New Contemporary Jazz/Funk Album Opus 2 Released!
Inspired by 8 jazz/funk greats and containing one original big band track, Opus 2 is an effort 28 years in the making! Read about the making of Opus 2 and check out a track-by-track commentary. You can listen to the album at these (and more) locations:
- Pandora (free stream)
- YouTube Music (free stream)
- Apple Music/iTunes (stream/buy)
- Amazon.com/Amazon Music (buy/stream)
- Spotify (stream)
- Tidal (stream)
- Google Play (stream)
April 11, 2020: Almost Free song & music video
I wanted to write an uplifting song dedicated to everyone in quarantine, to those suffering from COVID-19, to our wonderful health care people, and to those who are isolated from loved ones and friends. The words came easy and the melodies flowed thereafter. As we celebrate Easter this weekend, I hope this song provides encouragement, strength and hope as we all do our part to end this pandemic. Let’s hope we’re Almost Free.
March 3, 2020: Having some fun with Whisper Pop
It’s all the rage, apparently. This faint, drowsy singing style is the latest fad that comes across as intimate pop music, so I wanted to have a go at creating my own. Sleepy Song is a tongue-in-cheek, on-purpose cringe-worthy “poke” at whisper pop.
Sept. 12, 2019: Rediscover some of my late 80s tracks: 1990 EP
1990 EP is a small collection of five pop songs written near the end of the 80s, with the recording dated in 1990 while I was in college. The songs were first recorded on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape deck and mastered down to 1/4″ a reel-to-reel tape that I had stored away and finally got around to digitizing.
It’s a true time capsule, yet still feels like yesterday. Think Color Me Badd, a little S.O.S. Band, and Madonna’s Vogue in places. You’ll hear naïve 80s lyrics, synth-based sax solos, my insecure 24-year old vocals strategically held back in the mix and swimming in reverb, my “a-ha falsetto” that has long since left me, boy band-like harmony painfully recorded track by track, vintage synths, a few Linn drum fills and a Roland TR-909 drum machine holding it all together. Take a listen to my once-secret contribution to the late 80s if you dare, featuring dance pop, pop/R&B ballad, and a slow jam with some white boy old school rap! One footnote: “River’s Edge” got radio play in Greenville, NC, as it was written about walking along the Tar River.
July 12, 2019: New instrumental EP released!
Aquarium EP is out! Five tracks spanning 25 minutes of amazing soundscapes await! Here’s a few popular places to listen:
- Spotify (free stream)
- Pandora (free stream)
- iTunes (buy, $4.95)
- Apple Music (stream)
- Amazon.com (stream/buy, $4.95)
- Tidal (stream)
- Google Play (stream/buy, $4.95)
You will hear elements of soundtrack, new age and electronic music, a tiny homage to Vangelis, and chill bump moments throughout. Read the full story and notes on each track.
September 3, 2018: New single/lyric video
As school starts for many children this time of year along with the chance for making new friends, I wanted to share a new song based on a real-life friendship between my daughter and her best friend in NC. No matter who you are, there is someone out there that “gets” you. I hope everyone finds that special friend to share life with over the years. Here’s the lyric video for “Perfect Friends”.
June 15, 2018: Issues album released!
Michael’s new album released on June 15, featuring new songs, some with a slight electronic 80s vibe. The album dabbles in various genres and a few songs (Ego, Take in the View) were inspired by our current president. Missing the World sends a message to smartphone addicted teens, and When We Could See for Miles paints a picture of concern for our planet. Early 80s taps Michael’s memories growing up in the 80s and Passage 21 is about a fictional watering hole. There’s something for everyone!