Quotes from reviews and publications:


"Michael Mortilla simply sat down at the piano and improvised, certainly the most impressive example of making it up as you go along that anyone in the audience had ever seen." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"I thought Michael Mortilla was an orchestra unto himself!" - Kevin Brownlow, British Film Institute


"... score by Michael Mortilla, a man with a long history of composing splendid music..." - Vanity Fair


"You can hear it immediately - it's perfect ... a spontaneous presence ..." - Marion Horosko, Dance Magazine


"Upstream was presented with an original score composed by Michael Mortilla and performed by Mortilla on piano and Nicole Garcia on violin. An excellent score, it captured the essence of the film by providing the perfect counterpoint to what was happening up on the screen while never detracting from the experience by calling attention to itself." - Cinema Styles


"Accompanist Michael Mortilla, who had not yet seen the film, improvised the piano score as the images unfolded on the screen. It was simply a magical moment." - Metro Theater Foundation Newsletter


"Michael Mortilla composed and conducted a delightful new score for the film with Mortilla on piano, Nicole Garcia on violin and percussion and Jay Mason on woodwinds." Susan King, Los Angeles Times


"As a closer, we have to offer kudos once again to Michael Mortilla for his exceptional piano skills that accompany and enhance so much of the silent film going experience. His improvisational talent is top notch, and his specific talent for comedies, particularly chase scenes, are as inspired as one can get for film scoring"- Michael T. Toole, Turner Classic Movies


"... the three-piece musical accompaniment [was] arranged by composer Michael Mortilla. The music was some of the best I've heard with a silent film. The trio moved smoothly from theme to theme, added plenty of sound effects and kept perfect sync well whenever musical instruments were layered on screen. One rendition of"Auld Lang Syne" proved that Ford had maintained musical sync with the lyrics. Across a number of "silent" cuts, the actors were still singing in sync to the music." - Glenn Erickson's Review Column at DVD Talk


"This film in the Castro Theater (built in 1922) with Michael Mortilla at the piano was one of the most extraordinary film events I have ever attended." - David Jeffers, Seattle International Film Festival Blog


Composer for "The Chaplin Mutuals" and master piano improviser Michael Mortilla provides musical accompaniment. -The Los Angeles Times


"...music lovers can relish Michael Mortilla's brilliant piano...." -The Los Angeles Times


"Mr. Mortilla accompanied the rough-riding BUCKING BROADWAY and the melodramatic tale of SPARROWS starring America's Sweetheart, Mary Pickford. In both cases, Mr. Mortilla's improvisational skills and hawk-eyed attention to the action of the screen resulted in perfect musical portraits awash with clear-cut chord structures, cascading arpeggios, tender and amusing intimacies contrasted by increasingly bombastic build-ups for fearless cowboys to the rescue or hungry alligators in relentless pursuit of homeless orphans." - Seán Martinfield, San Francisco Sentinel


"This combination of music and movement was affecting on a gut level, leaving nothing to analyze, requiring the watcher to simply be there, experience." -The Martha's Vineyard Times


"Michael Mortilla, who accompanied the whole series. He did a great job, not obtrusive but punctuating the action perfectly, often with considerable wit." - Live Journal


"Capping the proceedings is the talented pianist Michael Mortilla, whose idiosyncratic approach to the pieces and bent humor gave his scores a much-needed offbeat wonder to the program." - Michael T. Toole, Turner Classic Movies


"Michael Mortilla left visitors speechless as his fingers raced to keep up with the antics of such screen legends as Laurel & Hardy, Charley Chase, and Rin Tin Tin." - Homestead Museum Newsletter


"... Michael Mortilla's eerie musical effects help steer the tone toward cerebral rather than hormonal arousal." Los Angeles Times


"Mortilla's mellifluous piano music flows through the performance like a river, carrying the events in its cadence and giving added support to the myriad character changes by establishing a particular, recurring sound for each one." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"...Mortilla's brilliant piano accompaniment... matched the moods on the screen so perfectly..." -The Los Angeles Times


"There's a wistful sense of loss in the piano and synthesizer score written and performed by Michael Mortilla. His continuous accompaniment incorporates styles of jazz, classical and outright dissonance to suit the onstage events." - The Los Angeles Times


"...Michael Mortilla's musical scores ... are the perfect counterpart to Chaplin's visuals..." -The DVD Review


"...astonishing..." -The Los Angeles Times


" [Flesh and the Devil] screened Sunday, with pianist Michael Mortilla providing glorious accompaniment." The Seattle Times


"Mortilla's score set an idyllic mood, with undertones of beast-like grunts." -The New York Times


"...superb ... the audio track on the boxed set will be justification enough for acquiring it ... exceptionally good ... Mortilla's score for The Vagabond is exceptional ... wonderful stereo orchestrations ... each film is given elaborate attention and is provided with a score that enhances the entertainment without distracting the viewer..." -The Laser Disk Newsletter


"Michael Mortilla provided terrific accompaniment, especially for "Parsifal," on a piano..." The Screening Room


"Musical accompaniment consists of an excellent score specifically composed and performed by Michael D. Mortilla" - Classic Images


"...a wonderfully percussive score commissioned from Michael Mortilla." -Backstage


"Score, costumes and choreography are clearly in the hands of professionals here, and the piece creates an aura of frightening primitive frenzy." -Backstage


"...compellingly sensual... score for harp and water..." -The Times of London


"...an electronic landscape of sound..." -Dance Magazine


"...a stunning score..." -The Santa Barbara News Press


"...The Michael Mortilla score is jazzy and electronic and sounds right out of a video arcade." -Attitude Magazine


"...Michael Mortilla... was the unspoken hero of the evening..." -The Santa Barbara News Press


"...judging from the response of the Paramount Ranch audience, he [Mortilla] definitely got it." -The Ventura County Star Free Press


"A local treasure ... Mortilla has the knack of inventing stuff most of us couldn't come up with in weeks of work. His playing is so simpatico..." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"...his music never intrudes on the dance nor dictates it, but manages to be a blending of elements." -The Santa Barbara News Press


"...worth the ticket price alone is the electrifying storm scene with... Michael Mortilla's sound designs" -The Santa Barbara News Press


"...the original music, composed by Michael Mortilla, has a distinctly French flavor..." -The Santa Barbara News Press


"... Mortilla's French-flavored score was lovely..." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"...elegant minimalist music..." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"......a warm-blooded, fully human presentation of the characters, with the stylization achieved through… a musical score performed live by Michael Mortilla." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"...lyrical, intuitive musical score by Michael Mortilla." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"The angular discord in composer Michael Mortilla's score reinforces all the sharp edges." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"The music composed and performed live on piano by Michael Mortilla is a rich and haunting tapestry of sounds supporting the surreal ambience." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"...ebullient, kinetic and high energy music by Michael Mortilla..." -The Santa Barbara Independent


"One of the best parts about seeing the film classics at the Paramount Ranch… is hearing the fancy keyboard work of Michael Mortilla" -The Santa Barbara Independent


"Some fans come to hear him [Mortilla] as much as to see the classics..." -The Los Angeles Times


"20th Century Fox ... did a similar treatment for their LD release of Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS... I found this to be a stunning piece of work by Carl Davis. The mix on this new DVD from Image is just as satisfying. The wide forward soundstage is filled with Mortilla's often delicate, occasionally zany score, and this new transfer marries it perfectly to Chaplin's pantomime - no easy task. Such a treatment essentially breathes new life and vitality into these classic shorts. The brilliance and beauty of Chaplin's pantomime was always accented by the music in his films... IMAGE has gone the extra mile by including this newly recorded score. It will be greatly appreciated by the dedicated Chaplin fans who buy this DVD. Very high marks." ... "This fresh, crisp new digital recording breathes new life into these classic pieces of film history... for fans of the great Charlie Chaplin - the image and sound quality on this new DVD will be special enough. Highly recommended." -The Big Picture by Bob Banka