Revisiting Michael Nyman

So to my next album on the list of ten I’ve been asked to share. Is this day three or day four, or is it day 5? I will check. Anyway, my featured image is of the signed album I bought at a Michael Nyman concert in 2014, ‘Nyman/Greenaway Revisited’. It was an amazing gig, and I was entranced throughout. I had been a little anxious – when you listen to and love a certain artist it’s always a worry seeing them live in case for some reason they aren’t as good as you’d believed. I remember the terrible disappointment in seeing Paul Young in concert – we left at half time he was so dreadful. Maybe he’d just had an off night!

The Draughtsman’s Contract was a 1982 film originally for TV written and directed by Peter Greenaway and with a score by Michael Nyman. I had read about the film before I saw it and I was captivated, mystified disturbed by it, and particularly the music. It somehow seemed so familiar and yet nothing like I had ever heard before. I bought the LP and I have been a big fan of Nyman ever since… although, thinking about it, I haven’t played any of his albums recently, which I must remedy! The original album I bought was from the 1982 film and I’ve bought many but not all  – he has produced at least twenty-six, so a long way to go!

Why does his music appeal to me? It’s very different from my other musical favourites which usually have strong melodies, narrative and clever lyrics, voice, and an association with some time in my life. There is something which totally engages me with Nyman’s music, I feel sucked in, locked onto it, almost bewitched. Some people say it’s repetitive, well maybe, I don’t know about music to be able to talk about its composition or structure, I just find it compelling.

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