Southland musician Michael Andrews makes his living composing scores for Hollywood films. His music appears in the movies "Bridesmaids," "Funny People" and "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."
But he recently took time off to make an album of his own, inspired by the real-life experience of becoming a father.
Andrews was seated in a dentist’s chair in Glendale when he first heard about his wife’s pregnancy. “As the Novocain made its way into my system," he said, "I suddenly realized, I am about to start a family." He rushed home and recorded a song called "The Dentist" which started a journey of writing music about fatherhood.
The album encompasses a wide variety of experiences each new parent faces. For example, the track "Music For Cell Division" was inspired by watching the video of his wife's ultrasound.
"I just looked at it like it was a movie," he said. "We got the tape and I put it up on the screen like I would my normal movies, but then I sort of made a science fiction adventure of it."
Many of the songs address life as a new parent, including the track "Waiting for You to Wake." Andrews says he and his wife had been taking turns tending to their newborn son Oliver. One early morning he was having coffee and watching the baby monitor. "I made a song about waiting for him to wake so I could hang out with him," Andrews said.
"Those were really hard days... no sleep. And it was dark. I had never been up that time in the morning," he added, "not without being up all night."
Andrews is getting a bit more sleep now that his son Oliver is 3 years old. He is back at work writing music for movies, but says he thinks it's likely he'll write more songs about fatherhood in the future.
"The way that a child experiences something is so pure," he said. "It's great to be able to experience that again. Every little thing is important to a kid."
"Spilling a Rainbow" is due out on August 14.