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Michael Nyman - master of minimalistic sound

personalities : Michael Nyman - master of minimalistic sound

Minimalist composer Michael Nyman is a pleasure to listen to online - nothing superfluous, strict sound emphasizing the elitism of piano music. Success hit the British along with the premieres of the sensational paintings of Peter Greenaway. Many began to compare the work of Nyman with the works of the American Philip Glass - both for some reason fell in love with rockers and other “advanced” audiences. What’s the secret to Nyman’s success ">

The content of the article

  • The Early Years of Michael Nyman - Pianos and Music Magazines
    • Experimental music research
  • Nyman and Greenway - collaboration at the junction of music and cinema
  • Michael Nyman outside the cinema - what you can listen to

The Early Years of Michael Nyman - Pianos and Music Magazines

1944 year. The future musicologist, critic, pianist and conductor Michael Nyman is born. The first stage of the composer's biography falls on 1961-1964, when he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and a little later - at Royal College. Among the mentors of Michael stood out the famous critic Thurston Dart and the staunch communist Alan Bush, who was passionately addicted to English Baroque.

At that time, the music of Michael Nyman was not popular - our hero traveled around Romania, studying local folklore, experimenting with classical and pop music, expanding his knowledge of the traditional Stockhausen school. Romania is the cradle of European folklore. It was there that a graduate of King's College drew his inspiration. As a columnist and reviewer, the famous British collaborated with three iconic publications:

  • "The Listener";
  • "The Spectator";
  • "The New Statesman."

Experimental music research

With the publications in these publications, Michael began his ascent as a talented critic. In 1974, a book was published on John Cage and experimental music. After graduating from college, Nyman constantly wandered, engaged in theoretical research and practically did not give concerts. The sixties reigned in the yard - a time of creative searches and rethinking of reality.

It was Michael Nyman, the author of the soundtracks for The Piano, who first used the term “minimalism, ” reviewing one of the works of Cornelius Cardew. The first half of the 70s was marked by numerous trips with the rock groups Flying Lizards and Steve Reich, as well as the classical orchestras Portsmouth Sinfonia and The Scratch Orchestra. These wanderings formed the basis of the future book of the famous composer. At the same time, the pianist began arranging a Venetian song. The classical sound was enriched with medieval instruments, bass saxophones and bass drums.

Nyman and Greenway - collaboration at the junction of music and cinema

Now many people want to download the song Big My Secret or the cult album Man On Wire for free. But the ascent of the future maestro began with a fateful meeting with the director Peter Greenaway.

Officially, the fruits of their joint work blew up the cultural space in 1976, although friends met much earlier. The first meeting took place in 1961, but as many as 15 years no breakthroughs were observed. The musician describes the reason for this as follows:

"Greenway made films for which music was not particularly needed."

The 1982 film by Peter Greenaway entitled The Draftsman's Contract made the famous minimalist. Subsequently, Greenway established constant cooperation with the maestro - “Naiman” notes formed the basis of the soundtracks for two dozen director's films. Among the most iconic films for the domestic audience can be distinguished "Book of Prospero" and "Counting the Drowned."

He worked with Michael Nyman and other cult directors. His music sounds in films:

  • "Piano";
  • Gattaka;
  • "Monsieur Ir";
  • "A man with a movie camera";
  • "Teresa, the body of Christ."

Michael Nyman outside the cinema - what you can listen to

The master of minimalism actively writes concerts for string quartets, arrangements for operas and ballets, regularly releases new albums of experimental music. Naiman signature sound can be caught in computer games - for example, in Enemy Zero. The maestro collaborates with David McElmont and Damon Albarn. He writes songs inspired by the poetry of Celan, Rimbaud, Shakespeare. From time to time, the composer toured the countries of the world with his Michael Nyman Band orchestra, whose musicians combine the sounds of medieval and modern instruments.

In the era of the 80s, the composer prefers monotonous main refrain, piercing string sound and bass parts of clarinets. Some of the maestro’s early works (“Jew's Trump”), according to critics, were created under the influence of Mozart. The work “Six Celan Songs”, written in 1990, is built on the poetry of Paul Selan. The vocal part was performed by Ute Lemper.

It is difficult to single out a key area in the multifaceted work of Michael Nyman. Before us is a talented experimenter and arranger who is in constant search. Each year, new composer albums are released that resonate among supporters of not only classical music, but also rock format. The compositions of the maestro sound stringed instruments, piano and saxophone. To get a large-scale idea of ​​the work of the minimalist, you need not be limited to its soundtracks, but pay attention to the orchestra and opera sound.

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