A composer who brings his solid erudite foundation in literature and music to his songwriting, José Miguel Wisnik was revealed in the movement known as vanguarda paulista. Along with his own solo discography, his songs were recorded by artists like Gal Costa, Paulo Ricardo, Cida Moreira, Quarteto em Cy, Edson Cordeiro, Ná Ozzetti, Zizi Possi, Eliete Negreiros, and Vânia Bastos. From a very early age, he studied classical piano and theory. At 18, Wisnik performed as a soloist of the Orquestra Municipal de São Paulo, playing Camille Saint-Saens's Concerto n° 2. He began to write songs in the late '60s, while enrolled in the Literature course of the University of São Paulo (USP). In 1968, Alaíde Costa presented Wisnik's "Outra Viagem" at the Festival Universitário da TV Tupi. In the '70s and '80s he got his M.A. and PhD in literary theory, publishing books like O Som e o Sentido - Uma Outra História da Música (Companhia das Letras, 1989), along with essays and articles included in compilations. In the '90s he wrote two compositions for the modern ballet group Grupo Corpo, Nazareth (1993) and Parabelo (1994), the latter co-written by Tom Zé. Wisnik also wrote music for theater (for director Zé Celso Martinez Corrêa) and film soundtracks (Terra Estrangeira, by Walter Salles Júnior/Daniela Thomas, 1996). "Assum Branco" was included by Gal Costa in her Aquele Frevo Axé.