Died in February 14, 2001 in Roma (Rome), Italy.
Piero Umiliani was an Italian composer of film scores, most famous for his song "Mah Nà Mah Nà" of 1968, that was originally used for a Mondo documentary about Sweden (Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso) and became world-famous in 1977 when performed for The Muppet Show. The song was also an anthem of the Benny Hill show.
Like many of his Italian colleagues at that time, he composed the scores for many exploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s, covering genres such as spaghetti western, Eurospy, Giallo, and soft sex films. Although not as widely regarded as, for example, Ennio Morricone or Riz Ortolani, he helped form the style of the typical European '60s/'70s jazz-influenced film soundtrack that later experienced a revival in films like Kill Bill and Ocean's Twelve.
Piero Umiliani was born in Florence on July 17 1926.
In 1959, charged by great Mario Monicelli to compose the OST of ‘I Soliti Ignoti’ (Big Deal on Madonna Street) OST, he gains international recognition.
The score featured Chet Baker on trumpet and it was the first experiment ever of Jazz Music on an Italian comedy movie.
In 1961, he writes the music for ‘Smog’ OST were again he featured Chet Baker artistry along with Helen Merrill shaping a masterpiece in Jazz OST history.
Il 1970, the Master opened Liuto Edizioni Musicali, his own publishing company and Sound Work Shop recording studio.
The first album of this new professional dimension was ‘Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso’ (Sweden, Heaven and Hell’) who contained the biggest hit of his career: ‘Mah Nà Mah Nà’ (Muppet Show, Benny Hill Show, Red Skelton show).
From Liuto catalogue came some of the greatest and richest moments in Italian film Music history.
‘La Ragazza dalla Pelle di Luna’ (The Girl with the Skin of the Moon), ‘La Legge dei Gangsters’ (The Gangsters’ Law), Angeli Bianchi … Angeli Neri (White Angels … Black Angels) etc.
Liuto catalogue also features incredible background music albums that delivers an amazing variety of sounds: from ‘To.Day’s Sound’ and ‘News’ to ‘Tra Scienza e Fantascienza’ (Between Science and Science Fiction).
In those great albums Piero Umiliani combined live Musicians with Electronic instruments. A very exhaustive manifesto of such works can be heard on ‘Musicaelettronica Vol. 1 & 2’ anthology albums.
In the past few years, the Timeless and Stainless sound of Piero Umiliani has strongly come back with the inclusion of his music in OSTs of movies like ‘Playing by Heart’ (Sean Connery), ‘Thick as Thieves’ (Alec Baldwin) and ultimately the star packed Hollywood production ‘Ocean’s 12’ with great 'Crepuscolo Sul Mare' track.
Major Multinational brands have used his music for television advertising and the CD releases of his music were acclaimed worldwide.
In his long career Piero Umiliani composed and recorded 190 soundtracks, 40 library albums and 35 TV title themes.