NYman is a muted meeting of minds - This is London - John AizlewoodOct 18th, 2010
One evening but two very different aspects: the world premiere of NYman With A Movie Camera, Michael Nyman’s shot-by-shot update of Dziga Vertov’s groundbreaking 1929 mash-up film, Man With A Movie Camera, with Nyman’s score — composed for both films — played live by the 66-year-old and his 11-strong mini-orchestra. Nyman’s film said little but the aural-visual experience was senses-stretching.
Before that, Nyman and band were joined by singer David McAlmont to perform their inspired The Glare album, where McAlmont wrote and sang lyrics based on news stories, with existing Nyman pieces as backdrops. Magically sung, impeccably played, the collaboration was as absorbing on the thunderous throb of Friendly Fire as both the slower, wounded In Laos and the peek into Susan Boyle’s inner hell that is The Glare itself.
But this was a missed opportunity. Nyman was an island, silent and playing piano with his back to the audience throughout.
Worse, for all his charismatic delivery and the utter joy of A Great Day In Kathmandu, McAlmont was also mute between songs, leaving only awkward poses and no hint of what crime the Somali seemingly being extradited to the United States in Going To America had purportedly committed or what the apparent refugee in Fever Sticks And Bones was fleeing from and why. Surely I wasn’t the only one whose curiosity had been aroused…