Robert McAtee, also known as a filmmaker and actor, has a flair for storytelling that blends well into his music. Perhaps the first discovery of the power of music happened while sitting in a dark movie theater in a small Midwestern town; but those seeds were also planted at home. Growing up his mother taught piano in their home and played the pipe organ at church. On occasion, she’d pull out some sheet music of some popular music and Robert would look over her shoulder and sing the lyrics. Songs like Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” or Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” As a child his first concert was none other than Liberace, but he’d move on to seek out tickets to Van Halen and everything from Willie Nelson to Ray Charles. Eventually he would start playing the piano, bass guitar, electric guitar, percussion, bassoon and other instruments and decide to attend Indiana University’s School of Music studying music recording, theory and the history of jazz.
“Going to California” was always Robert McAtee’s favorite Led Zeppelin song. So that's exactly what he did. Instead of taking his "chances on a big jet plane,” he packed up everything in a truck and left the Ohio River-front cities of Indiana and Kentucky where he'd lived. In California, "the mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake,” but Robert continued to write and record his music.
Robert’s songs have always been well matched with moving images, so composing for film came naturally. Cary Conley at Rogue Cinema spoke of one of Robert’s soundtracks “Excellent and suits the film perfectly.” Richard Propes at The Independent Critic labeled another a “stellar original score.” Recent releases of two soundtracks, Wounded Love (Original Soundtrack) and Trail of Crumbs (Music for the Motion Picture) offer a wide range of genres, influences, and expression.
IMPASTO, an album of true indie music is a tongue-in-cheek, vulnerable and edgy walk through the streets of Hollywood featuring trumpet by Adam Levine. In conjunction with the release of IMPASTO was an event in Hollywood that read more like an evening of experimental black box theater with over a dozen artists performing the lyrics of IMPASTO in spoken word, movement, and music.
An Afternoon in Paris in the Middle of the Night brought a tunnel of love ride that captured memories and thoughts through intimate and raw imagery. Moody and hypnotic. Laid back, yet driven.
Several of the album covers have been created in collaboration with world-renowned artist and bodypainter Filippo ioco, who has also shared his talents with Nicki Minaj and Sia. The artwork delivers an eye-catching double-take experience.
While musical genres may blur, melt into each other, or completely change in Robert’s approach, certain elements are consistent under his umbrella of work he described as “A commitment to the mood, the state of affairs for the moment - whether that be polished or rough, and the imagination of what really is an audio painting.”