Sunday, September 18, 2011

Michael Nyman - Drowning By Numbers (Venture - VE23)

Michael Nyman is a composer who helped to shape the modern composition techniques and experimentations. It is a must to mention his name while talking about 1970 and onwards on classical music since he layed the foundations for today's young and developing composers.

Drowning By Numbers is a record that can drown you into other worlds of joy and sorrow. It drowns you into it's beauty. Even though it is a meticulously calculated experiment based on Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, it has such a perfectness to it that listening once can not and will not be enough.

The first idea of decomposing and recomposing of the Sinfonia Concertante came from Peter Greenaway and Nyman really jumped on the idea there and then. His first project was to concentrate on the four notes (58-61) for the movie "The Falls". For the film Drowning By Numbers, he enhanced the idea to cover the full movement and this obviously opened a whole world of opportunities to Nyman.

Even before achieving this information from the back cover of the record, one can feel a completeness, a collectiveness within the recompositions. It feels like all of them are attached to each other somehow in one way and they are a part of a greater good. Therefore, I find it extremely unjust to separate and criticize on any of the recompositions by itself. They are meaningful together even though within themselves they are immensely affectionate and profound.

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