Sunday, June 15, 2008

Michael Nyman Band: Chasing Sheep is Best Left to Shepherds

Something a little different this week: a live performance of Nyman's tune from Peter Greenaway's film The Draughtsman's Contract. The sleeve notes to one of my CDs tell me that it is derived from an instrumental interlude from Henry Purcell's opera The Fairy Queen.

The Draughtsman's Contract is a sort of Restoration Blowup - it has a mystery at its heart that is never resolved, yet you feel that if you watch the film just once more all will become clear.
The slightly manic tone of this music matches the film perfectly. Indeed at its best - here and in Drowning by Numbers - the collaboration between Nyman and Greenaway is something rarely equalled in British cinema.

Returning to the pop world, Nyman clearly had a strong influence on The Divine Comedy - think "Tonight We Fly" - both directly and via the band's arranger Joby Talbot, who was his protege.

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