Michael Olsen was born in the seventies in Vancouver, hailing from a family of professional Drag Racers and Classical Musicians. At the young age of five, he opted for the latter and began to study the cello. At Vancouver Academy of Music, Michael studied with Audrey Nodwell, Judy Fraser, and Ian Hampton. He also played in the Academy Orchestra from 1988 – 1993. He attended many master classes including the Banff Centre with Aldo Parisot. During this time, Michael contracted his own string quartet, Quadraphonic. He also organized the very first rock music performance in the Koerner recital hall, which was considered a resounding flop, though fun.
After a season as Principal Cello for the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra in 1995, Michael began studies with Shauna Rolston in Cello Performance at the University of Toronto. Before obtaining his Bachelor Degree, he had also been instructed by Phil Nimmons, Don Thompson and Gary Kulesha. Michael also showed a keen interest in recording during his studies.
In his graduating year, Michael took the initiative to record his new band’s debut album, Kitchenmusik. In the years following, Michael became active in the Canadian indie rock scene of the late nineties, playing electric cello. He has since developed a career performing on record and live, with such artists as: Arcade Fire, K-OS, Jim Guthrie, Andy Kim, Constantines, Jill Barber, Immaculate Machine and Jamie Stone. Michael is featured on over 100 recordings.
Michael was a core member of the Hidden Cameras from 2002 to 2008, touring extensively internationally.
Michael has also focused on production and engineering since 2002, when he started his own recording studio, Uncomfortable Silence. Studio clientele include Ohbijou, Spiral Beach, The Organ, The Miles, Debbie Suede, The Hidden Cameras, Indians, Heavy Filth, Yuka, Emma Lee, Amenta, British Columbians and The Great Lake Swimmers.
Michael newest venture is the original musical project, Our Founders,
for which he writes and performs. In winter 2011 they will be releasing a new recording entitled “the 9’s”.