Michael Nyman

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Mojo Magazine -- 4 stars -- Britain's foremost modern classicist, meet Britain's foremost ambidextrous singer

Oct 27th, 2009

Not an obvious partnership on paper, but Michael Nyman’s orchestrations and David McAlmont’s voice both push the lustrous end of their prodigious gifts without affecting the pursuit of technical excellence. 

Here, McAlmont has picked his fave Nyman pieces, and perhaps mindful of his collaborator’s soundtrack-heavy CV, has taken lyrical inspiration from global news reports.  Such as the seesawing Take The Money And Run, about the New Zealand couple whose bank account was accidentally credited with millions, set to Nyman’s Seville Fanfare. 

Parts aren’t dissimilar from McAlmont-(Bernard) Butler orch-pop; Secrets, Accusations And Charges - concerning the Aberdeen fish distributor who also masterminded international jewellery heists, over a serene excerpt from Gattaca - is a close cousin of M&B’s 1995 opus You Do.  Trafficking rings, euthanasia, Zimbabwean orphans… the callous end of real life is a pointed counterpoint to all the musical/vocal beauty, and ballads such as In Laos pack a hefty punch. 

In this context, a (typically dynamic) 17-minute instrumental Songs For Tony is a perplexing coda, but feel free to add your own narrative.

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