Micah Atwell is a composer of contemporary instrumental music, often in the ambient, electronic, and pop/hard-rock genres. His distinctive sound stems from his personal choice to use guitar where others use synthesizers, and his signature style resides in his abstract, thematic, and visionary approach to composition.
"I try to not funnel the music into a particular direction or thing. I just let it become what it wants to become. I may start out with a particular idea or hoped-for outcome in mind, but the music never comes out as that when it's done. I've learned to just accept the music as its own entity, to be the conduit and try to not get in the way."
Raised between bustling southern California and rural, spacious Kansas, Micah developed a dichotomous feel for time and rhythm. At age 16, he began teaching himself guitar and spent his formative years writing blues-based hard rock songs and instrumentals. Over the next several years, his sound and style gradually evolved towards the more experimental electronic and ambient genres. Having had a substantial classical and cultural music upbringing, these 'new' genres allowed him to tap into a much greater list of influences and find a whole new level of creative freedom. They would also provide him fertile ground to apply his electronics and software development experiences.
"I tried the 'band thing' when I was first starting out but I'm not really the performer sort. I've never considered myself or intentionally tried to bill myself as a virtuoso. As a musician I've always lacked the discipline to play consistently, often practicing a part just enough to get through the recording session, and then just as often forgetting how to play it the day after it's 'on tape'. It's not uncommon for me to flub a barre chord just playing in front of friends. I am a composer far more than a player."
Micah produced and self-released his 2008 official debut album, Temple of Unmanifest Dreams, an emotionally charged and meditative ambient/electronic guitar odyssey geared for audiences of such popular radio programs as the nationally syndicated Hearts of Space and similar regional broadcasts. This haunting, meditative compilation is an astounding testament to what a guitar can convey, and it continues to receive sweeping reviews at every turn.
Following the death of his father, which coincided with the release of the album, Micah's priorities shifted. A large personal transformation was beginning to take hold and, though he continued to release numerous singles and provide production and media services to other independent artists, the prospect of a follow-up album loomed far and away. 2012 finds Micah quite eager to tap into a new life energy and planning some very inspired new music projects.
Micah Atwell has received numerous positive critiques from legendary guitarist George Lynch and in 2008 secured a Top 40 ranking in the industry-sponsored international Guitar Idol competition. He has scored music to video and animation and actively works with artists in the US and the UK, co-writing and co-producing some very eclectic compositions.
"I've always loved listening to Micah's compositions because they're always so musically interesting. He has a lot of content and his soloing is never overkill. ... He shows a lot of room for growth and potential and has direction in his approach."
-- George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob/Souls of We)
Official Website: http://www.micahatwell.com
On the rock-side of things, my greatest influences have been George Lynch, Jason Beiler, Scott Dalhover, Darrell Dime Abbott, Angus Young, and Wes Borland.
As far as my ambient/electronic/experimental music though, the influence has been far less from specific persons and more from life in general. Its just a zone I get into where my emotions connect most seamlessly with sound and imagery. There have been a lot of artist on the radio program, Hearts of Space, who have inspired me, as well as some modern composers/artists like Mark Snow (X-Files), Martin Tillman, and Seal. Movie soundtracks have also played a good part.