Michael Nyman

He’s one of the most innovative and celebrated British composers. He writes film music (“The Piano”, among others), operas and orchestral concertos. Also known as a pianist, conductor, band leader, musicologist, as well as a photographer and filmmaker. Although he’s too modest to allow anyone to call him a “Renaissance Man”, his restless creativity and multi-faceted art made him one of the most fascinating and influential cultural icons of our times.

At this stage of a long and notable career, he might forgivably have been content to rest on his laurels. Yet instead of looking back on a lifetime of achievement that ranges from his award-winning score for the film “The Piano” to the acclaimed opera “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”, via a string of high-profile collaborations with everyone from Sir Harrison Birtwistle to Blur and Gorrilaz leader Damon Albarn, he’s still looking forward – pushing the boundaries of his art with a diverse and prolific burst of creativity as energetic and challenging as any new and iconoclastic young kid on the block.

Michael Nyman – along with his 11-piece Michael Nyman Band – will perform in Łódź during the 9th edition of the International Festival of Music Producers and Sound Designers Soundedit. The concert will take place at the Łódź Philharmonic on Sunday, 29 October, at 7 PM. It will include all of the composer’s most notable pieces of work written for “The Piano” and Greenaway’s films.

Tickets priced at 199, 149 and 119 PLN are available exclusively on Bilety24.pl.

This concert is organized in cooperation with the Artur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic.

On the day before the concert, Saturday, 28 October, during a special ceremony at the Wytwórnia club, Nyman will be awarded “The Man with the Golden Ear” statuette for “Particular Sensitivity to Music”. The artist will also meet with the festival’s audience.

Soundedit Festival proudly announces that after the success of last year’s installation “The Ship” created by Brian Eno, Michael Nyman will also present his multimedia installation “THE TWELVE-WALLED ROOM, a 12-screen video installation by Michael Nyman” at Fabryka Sztuki (Łódź, 3 Tymienieckiego street). It will be on display from 29 October till 18 November.

Michael Nyman Band will also perform on 30 October at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra concert hall in Katowice (NOSPR, 1 Wojciech Kilar square).

2010 saw the premiere of a documentary ”Michael Nyman Composer In Progress”. It’s an intimate portrait of this artist’s life as a composer as well as his more recent work as a filmmaker and photographer.

Also in the same year, Nyman continued his association with works by pioneering Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov. In January 2010, Nyman followed his previous score for “Man with a Movie Camera” (2002) with scores for two films, “The Eleventh Year” and “A Sixth Part of the World”, both made in the late 1920s. MN Records has released music from both scores on a single CD, Vertov Sounds.

In October 2012, Nyman premiered his painstaking shot-for-shot reconstruction of Vertov’s film, “NYman With a Movie Camera”, which uses footage from his personal film archive shot over the past two decades to create a modern-day take on experimental documentary filmmaking.

Never one to sit around in an ivory tower, his diary bulges with a full international touring schedule with the Michael Nyman Band as well as a series of unique one-off performances with a variety of collaborators. Nyman first made his mark on the musical world in the late 1960s, when he invented the term ‘minimalism’ and, still in his mid-twenties, earned one of his earliest commissions, to write the libretto for Birtwistle’s 1969 opera “Down By The Greenwood Side”.

In 1976, he formed his own ensemble, the Campiello Band (now the Michael Nyman Band) and over three decades and more, the group has been the laboratory for much of his inventive and experimental compositional work.

For more than 30 years, he had also enjoyed a highly successful career as a film composer, the role in which – sometimes to his slightly rueful regret – he is probably best known by the general public.

His most notable scores number a dozen Peter Greenaway films, including such classics as “The Draughtsman’s Contract” and “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover”; Neil Jordan’s “The End Of The Affair”; several Michael Winterbottom features including “Wonderland”, “A Cock And Bull Story”, and “The Trip”; the Hollywood blockbuster “Gattaca” – and, of course, his unforgettable music for Jane Campion’s 1993 film, “The Piano”, the soundtrack album of which has sold more than three million copies.

Michael Nyman also co-wrote the score for the 1999 film “Ravenous” with Damon Albarn. More recently, his music was used in the 2009 BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film, “Man on Wire”. Also, his score for the film “Erasing David” earned praise and won an award for Best Original Soundtrack at London’s East End Film Festival in 2009.

His reputation among highbrow critics is built upon an enviable body of work written for a wide variety of ensembles, including not only his own band, but also symphony orchestra, choir and string quartet. He has also written widely for the stage. His operas include “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” (1986), “Facing Goya” (2000), and the critically lauded “Man and Boy: Dada” (2003). He has also provided ballet music for a number of the world’s most distinguished choreographers.

The main theme of the festival stays the same – “I Am the Sound”. This is true for anyone who’ll join us in Łódź on the last weekend of October to get to know more about the work of music producers, listen to lectures, take part in workshops and discussions. I Am the Sound! I am the tone. I am the music. Welcome to Soundedit. Welcome to Łódź. See Michael Nyman’s installation, meet the man, see him perform his music.

Photos: M. Nyman’s press kit