January 5, 2003 |
The year-end issue of Art Forum is full of 10-best lists, five of them on music. If this is any indication, then all the art world listens to is pop and jazz. There is nothing from contemporary so-called art music, little experimental or musically new or groundbreaking. Decidedly no opera. Fortunately, such blindness (deafness?) is not mutual. Experimental and traditional composers alike have long had a healthy engagement with the visual arts.
December 17, 2001 |
With a zest for work that might daunt even Philip Glass, Michael Nyman has carved out quite a voluminous niche in the British contemporary music scene. Indeed, the similarities to Glass are striking. Like Glass, Nyman has a distinctive populist style rooted in Minimalism, and a personalized, amplified eponymous ensemble. Like Glass, he takes on everything--operas, ballets, chamber music, symphonic music, world music, film scores.
December 9, 2001 |
Michael Nyman is on the phone from his hometown, London, talking about being well known and little known, all at the same time. Nyman is famous for his music for films--especially his best-selling score for Jane Campion's "The Piano," and for scores to the infamous films of Peter Greenaway, such as "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." But he is also a composer in the "legitimate" music world. He has written for dance companies, for the opera stage, for orchestras and smaller ensembles.
October 15, 1994 |
The music of Michael Nyman leaves this listener with some wildly differing impressions. The overriding impression it left after his Thursday night concert in Segerstrom Hall was that it is almost incredibly inane. The 50-year-old British composer seems not to know, or not to care, that many of his chord progressions--chord progressions he seems to take seriously--are so well worn that even pop performers have sent them up. Ever heard "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s, Mr. Nyman?
October 12, 1994 |
In the days before the first American appearances by his 17-year-old Michael Nyman Band, the composer of the music from "The Piano" was rummaging through his cellar in London and turned up some interesting things. One is the program for his own first U.S. gig, at the Kitchen in New York City in 1980, not with the band but with American sidemen.
November 29, 1993 |
The latest buzz from the New York new-music scene, the unprecedented topic of intermission conversation one hears these days at the ultra-hip Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as at downtown alternative spaces, goes something like this: The much admired, awarded and internationally popular new Jane Campion film, "The Piano," is regularly mentioned as prime Oscar material.