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A contemporary classical composer and conductor, Nico Muhly was born in Vermont in 1981. After graduating from Columbia University, Muhly went on to earn a master's degree in music from Juilliard. He worked on a number of well-received projects, including a cantata on the Elements of Style by Stunk & White. Muhly also included film scoring on his résumé, composing the music to Choking Man in 2006 and Joshua in 2008. His abilities to move from genre to genre soon paid off, and Muhly began working with some of the music world's most well-known names, including Björk, Antony (of Antony & the Johnsons), and Bonnie "Prince" Billy (not to mention working with modern classical composer Philip Glass). His debut recording, Speaks Volumes, was released in 2006. It was followed in 2008 by a collection of his collaborations with other artists titled Ekvilibrium. The next goal on Muhly's drawing board was a follow-up to his debut, the collection Mothertongue, which was released in 2008. Also released that year was his aforementioned original score for the motion picture Joshua. In 2009, his score for Stephen Daldry's 2008 film The Reader was released. Muhly's commissions multiplied in earnest, as did even more requests by other artists for his string arrangements (including Usher and Antony Hegarty). A Good Understanding, a collection of his choral works, was released in 2010, as was I Drink the Air Before Me, co-produced by Dan Bora and Valgeir Sigurðsson. Seeing Is Believing was issued in 2011, followed by three limited-edition EPs in 2012, Drones & Piano, Drones & Viola, and Drones & Violin, which were compiled as the full-length Drones and released widely in November of that year.