Blake Leyh is a composer, sound designer, music producer, and music supervisor who lives in New York City. Born in New York but raised in England until age fifteen, Leyh began his musical explorations at the age of ten, playing accordion and guitar and composing songs with a street theater troupe in London. After moving to California in 1978, Leyh studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where renowned electronic music composer Gordon Mumma was his advisor and teacher. He also played in several punk bands, as well as the Avant Garde Pop band BANDE À PART . Leyh spent four years splicing tape, programming Moog and Buchla synthesizers, mastering the recording studio, and making 16mm films, in an independent major program of Electronic Music and The Cinema.
In 1983 Leyh moved to Los Angeles, and was surprised to discover his skills were in high demand in Hollywood, which was just beginning a massive wave of technological change. Leyh was one of the first people to routinely use a digital sampler in film post-production. After working on various low budget and independent films during the mid-eighties, he was hired in 1988 by James Cameron as the Sound Designer on THE ABYSS, which he worked on full-time for a year. The film was nominated for a Best Sound Academy Award, and Leyh won an MPSE Golden Reel award for his work.
In the early nineties Leyh turned his attention back to music and has since composed scores for more than twenty feature films, including B-Movie schlock classics (AMERICAN CYBORG), challenging independent dramas (STAR TIME), and award-winning documentaries (TWIST OF FAITH). In 1996 Leyh composed the score for the Sundance Jury Prize-winning documentary SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST, which marked the beginning of a long term collaboration with filmmaker Kirby Dick.
In 1998 Leyh moved back to New York and again worked as a sound designer and sound supervisor on films by some of the East Coast's finest directors (Spike Lee, Ang Lee, John Waters, Jonathan Demme). He worked with Julie Taymor on her films TITUS, FRIDA, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and THE TEMPEST. He supervised the sound on two films by Stephen Daldry: THE READER and EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE.
2001 saw the beginning of a new pursuit when Leyh became the music supervisor on HBO's dramatic series THE WIRE. Music supervising requires a deep knowledge of many styles of music, in addition to a thorough understanding of music licensing and copyright, and Leyh found he was uniquely suited for the task. He has since music supervised several independent features, as well as all five seasons of THE WIRE. He also composed the theme music for THE WIRE. He spent four years deeply involved with the New Orleans music community as the music supervisor on David Simon's HBO drama TREME. He also was the producer and co-writer for the 2012 album "ALL ABOUT EVERYTHING" by "The Voice of New Orleans," John Boutté.
Since 1990 Leyh has released five CDs of original music. His early releasse were championed by KCRW in Los Angeles among others, receiving significant airplay and becoming independent hits. The soundtrack CD for SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST has become an underground classic. Music from Leyh's CDs has been licensed for many films over the years. These days Leyh splits his time between music supervising, composing, producing, and sound designing, continuing to work on a wide variety of challenging projects.