Critically acclaimed singer/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.
Currently the composer for Lena Dunham’s hit HBO series GIRLS as well as the new Showtime hit series MASTERS OF SEX, 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 Patten Oswalt and Zach Galifianakis), and SOLITARY MAN (starring Michael Douglas).
In 2012 Penn was asked by Lena Dunham to score her HBO series GIRLS. The show features not only original score, but also the occasional song by Penn. His latest – “Good Girl Down” – closed the third season of the series. The song was called by Tim Molloy (TheWrap.com) “classic Penn: an intense build, a gorgeous release, and lyrics filled with wry twists worthy of Lennon-McCartney.”
The fall of 2013 saw the launch of the new series MASTERS OF SEX, a period piece about the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, Masters and Johnson. The show was nominated for Best Drama Series at the 2013 Golden Globes and is sure to be recognized at the 2014 Emmys. Penn’s original score features samples of period-accurate technology of the day including the Novachord.
Up next for Michael is the second season of MASTERS OF SEX, set to debut in July 2014, and the fourth season of GIRLS.