Michael Mehl

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Composer and multimedia artist Michael Mehl was born on July 4, 1952, in Manila, the Philippines. He has lived in Europe, Mexico, South America, and since the late '80s has been living in San Antonio,…
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Artist Biography by

Composer and multimedia artist Michael Mehl was born on July 4, 1952, in Manila, the Philippines. He has lived in Europe, Mexico, South America, and since the late '80s has been living in San Antonio, TX. He is a U.S. resident and a Mexican citizen.

Mehl began his musical education as a young child in the Philippines, continuing his private piano and music lessons until his early teens while in Saltillo, Mexico. His performing career began while still a teenager in Mexico City, where he worked in nightclubs and recorded several cover hits with some of Mexico's leading rock bands, touring with them throughout the country. Later he lived in England, attending numerous concerts and musical events and extending his musical education. He began seriously composing and performing when he formed his own piano-based musical group, Fata Morgana, which included graphic and stage designers; sponsorship by the Autonomous University of Mexico allowed them to perform throughout Mexico. The group had a profound impact on the Mexican musical scene and spawned a generation of new musical endeavors in the country.

He then moved to Holland where he lived for a year, studying music theory and performing as a soloist. He then returned to Mexico where he formed a new group and produced an LP, Miguel Mehl, the first-ever published recording of a non-commercial singer/songwriter on a commercial Mexican recording label. Throughout the 1970s and early '80s he composed solo and ensemble music for the Mexican Public Broadcasting Network. He also worked as musical director for an Argentinean pop singer who took him to Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina. He was greatly influenced by the musical cultures of these countries and he was able to perform with many small orchestras, mariachi bands, and pop groups.

After producing the first LP (Warner-Elektra-Asylum) for Betsy Pecanins, a Catalan-US-Mexican art/blues singer, Mehl took a long hiatus from music, eventually moving to San Antonio, TX, in 1986. In 1990 he produced Keen Zens of Mehl, a compact disc of his guitar music, and in 1995 he recorded Tlacaelel, a compact disc of orchestral MIDI music which was nearly two years in the making. The albums have been featured on public radio and university stations throughout the U.S. and Mexico. In the late 1990s Mehl was reportedly at work on a MIDI album based on the Knights Templars of the Middle Ages.