Michael Ruggieri

Michael Ruggieri and David de Hilster were friends before they became artistic collaborators. Director David de Hilster, an amateur musician himself, said he never had so much fun creating as he did with Michael working on the film’s original soundtrack. “I would direct Michael to make some kind of music with a certain mood and feel and within a day or two, there it would be: in my inbox. After a while I just said: ‘go for it!’ I just let him send them to me and I found the perfect place for the music in the film.” said de Hilster.

But according to the director there was magic in the theme song. “It is quite unusual if not the first time a serious scientific documentary has a theme song with lyrics and a distinct musical style. Michael killed it!” said de Hilster. “Six years after shooting my music video without music, Michael’s theme song fit like a glove to the ‘Kidnapping of Stephen Hawking’. I must have only tweaked less than 10% of the shoot to make the music fit. PERFECT!” said David smiling!

Theme song by Michael Ruggieri, lead vocal Kayla Trindade-Schweitzer and piano by the great Herman Jackson:

There is one song in the movie that was chosen by the editors and producers that fit perfectly to Luanda’s birth scene and we decided to keep it but: we would remake it. The demo used Kayla’s amazing voice and the director decided to keep her for all major vocals in the movie. Great choice!

Here is that track “The Way I am” with amazing vocals by Kayla Trindade-Schweitzer:


Click here to hear Director David de Hilster interview Michael Ruggieri:


Michael Ruggieri is a singer songwriter whose music career started in Rochester NY, where he toured throughout New York State with his band, Kamyleon. Upon breakup of the band, he began a solo career and recorded with ex Head East guitarist, Tony Gross, Jr. and also recorded backing vocals with national recording artist, Robert Tepper, who was featured on the Rocky III soundtrack.

Upon moving to California in 1995, Michael has recorded and played live shows with Dean Pleasants (Suicidal Tendencies/Jessica Simpson) and Matt Laug (Alanis Morisette/New Radicals). In 2005 he released his debut CD, Survive, which was engineered and co-produced by Michael Vail Blum (Madonna/Pink Floyd/Roger Daltrey).

He is also a member of Sambala Samba School and has performed with the bateria throughout Southern California for high profile gigs at Universal Amphitheatre and The Rose Bowl Parade and has also played in the famed Rio de Janeiro street blocos.

Watching Michael perform live gives audience a chance at seeing how adept he is in conveying his convictions both lyrically and musically. His performances have garnered rave reviews for being incredibly vibrant, luminous and filled with a passion that only further serves to showcase his talent as a songwriter and performer.

Michael is currently finishing songs for his next studio release, scheduled to begin recording in the fall of 2012 and can be seen in performances throughout Southern California with his live band. One of his songs, 7 Days, was used in the trailer for the upcoming documentary, “Einstein Wrong, The Miracle Year” by independent filmmaker David de Hilster.



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