Although the author of numerous instrumental, orchestral, and theatrical works, it is without a doubt the cinema which has made Michael Nyman’s distinctive style so widely known: minimalism mixed with borrowings from classical music and the textures of rock. He wrote the scores for Peter Greenaway’s mythic films Murder in an English Garden (1982) and Zoo (1985) as well as for Jane Campion’s The Piano Lesson.
It is therefore not surprising that his commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the First World War should take the form of a vast visual and musical fresco. War Work gleans material from various archives in Great Britain, France and Germany. By simultaneously composing the music and the montage of images, Michael Nyman questions everything that has been erased from our memories: the unknown soldiers, or that which has never been recovered – identities without bodies.
This concert is part of the War and Peace Concert Series II, November 9-17.