Composer Michael A. Levine known for scoring two hit CBS -series, Cold Case and Close to Home, has written the song "300 Flowers" for "Beautiful Little Fool," a Cold Case episode premiering April 9, 9 p.m. PST/EST. Liz Garcia wrote the episode and provides the lyrics for the song in the style of Gershwin and Cole Porter, which contains a clue to the identity of an aspiring songwriter killed in 1929. This is the oldest unsolved crime the series has ever featured. The episode also marks the first time the show has used an original song over its closing montage, Michael's contemporary arrangement of "300 Flowers."
Winner of two Clio Awards for his work in advertising, Michael's ground-breaking combination of high-tech sound design with music became his calling card. His music for the first of his two Clio Awards, the Mitsubishi Eclipse campaign, combined Japanese flute, an operatic soprano, world percussion, and electronically processed animal noises. Michael's once-radical approach employed on the Mitsubishi spots became so widely imitated by others in car commercials that the formula eventually became an advertising cliche. Still, his best-known ads are his jingles "Wacky Wild Kool-Aid Style," "Motts and Motts of Motts," and, most infamously, "Gimme a Break" for Kit Kat, which is widely considered to be one of the most effective "earworms," a term used to describe a bit of music that you can't get out of your head, whether you want to or not. Grammy winning American Idol champ Carrie Underwood sang it on this year's campaign.
Born in Tokyo, Michael was raised in the Midwest and schooled in Canada (McGill Univ.), Wisconsin (UW), and Boston (Berklee College of Music). He moved to New York City where his first job was playing violin on the streets. In the early 80s he founded the legendary No Guitars, one of the first bands to have a video on the just-launched MTV. He also managed to squeeze in gigs as a fiddle player on the NYC country, folk, and Irish scenes, working with then-unknown Shawn Colvin. Michael returns to his roots on an April 2 episode of Cold Case where he briefly appears playing "Wilkommen" from Cabaret on the violin and also as a violin-playing pirate in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
Michael is working with William Phillip McKinley on mounting a production of "Orpheus Electronica," a multi-media techno-opera which sets the myth of Orpheus in an underground dance party. McKinley directed the Broadway hit musical The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, and also directs The Ringling Bros. Circus.