By Joyce Morgan, May 24, 2011
THE composer Michael Nyman picks up his compact camera.
“Oh, that’s interesting,” he says.
Exactly what is so fascinating about the garbage truck that has pulled up before us at the Sydney Park Brickworks isn’t apparent.
But he has been filming such vignettes for years on his hand-held camera. A drunken man struggling to put on his tie, the aftermath of a bullfight and a derelict but once-magnificent Mexican cinema are among the scenes that have captured his attention.
“I feel very privileged and snoopy,” he says. “I like the accident of the thing happening in front of me, setting up a frame and just allowing what transpires.”
Filmmaking is the lesser known side of Nyman’s oeuvre. He is best known for his film scores, including for Jane Campion’s The Piano and Peter Greenaway’s The Draftsman’s Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
Both sides will be on show in Sydney this week in a series of events that include the world premiere of a musical composition, a public lecture and screenings of his films.