The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Michael Nyman


I am mad at myself for not having posted anything about this composer sooner. He is by far the most underestimated composer alive today. Famous for his soundtrack to the movie, The Piano, his music is exactly what music should be: beautiful, energetic, and unpretentious. (Here he is pictured with his music-making posse, the Michael Nyman Band.... pretty thugged-out, as we youngsters tend to say!)

The thing that has always fascinated me about Nyman is that he seems to have become a composer by accident. In reality, so I think the story goes, he was a musicologist by training, and he wrote one of the first books on the minimalist movement in modern music. So, rather than being a frustrated composer who became a music critic, he is a music critic who became a composer. Only when he was asked to do a soundtrack to an avant-garde film with medieval instruments did the idea for the Michael Nyman Band emerge, and he hasn't looked back since.

As for recommendations, his string quartets are very good, as is his opera "Facing Goya", among so many other things. (I also like the soundtrack to The Piano, too.)

Visit his website .

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