Michael Nyman Band

IAN COLLINS Maybe Michael Nyman's electrifying music needs a health warning. After his theme for the Peter Greenaway movie Drowning By Numbers, filmed in Southwold, nervy Suffolk men refused to swim with their wives for ages.

IAN COLLINS

Maybe Michael Nyman's electrifying music needs a health warning.

After his theme for the Peter Greenaway movie Drowning By Numbers, filmed in Southwold, nervy men refused to swim with their wives for ages.

During the Norfolk airing of part of that excoriating score, a seat near mine fell apart, bringing one listener back to earth with a bump.

But Nyman also menaces musicians.

During thrilling sequences from the film The Draughtsman's Contract, it seemed frenzied string players in the 11-piece band had been plugged into the mains.

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Snatches from the Prospero's Books score preceded Man With a Movie Camera – a 1929 last blast of Soviet avant-garde cinema set against a new maelstrom of music.

Fractured images depicted a machine-age city and happy folk off to the proletarian paradise of summer camps beside the Black Sea. Nyman's frantic notes were full of the ensuing Stalinist terror.

Ian Collins

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