One of Britain’s most innovative and celebrated composers, Michael Nyman’s work encompasses operas and string quartets, film soundtracks and orchestral concertos. In addition to his work as a composer, he is also a performer, conductor, bandleader, pianist, author, musicologist, photographer and filmmaker.
Nyman first made his mark on the musical world in the late 1960s when he invented the term ‘minimalism’. In 1976, he formed his own ensemble, the Michael Nyman Band, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. For over three decades, the group has been the laboratory for much of his inventive and experimental compositional work. Nyman's most notable scores include a dozen Peter Greenaway films, such 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 and A Cock and Bull Story; the Hollywood blockbuster Gattaca, and Jane Campion’s 1993 film, The Piano, the soundtrack of which has sold more than three million copies. Most recently, his music was used in the 2009 BAFTA award-winning and in Oscar-nominated film, Man on Wire and Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Worlds which premiered at Cannes in 2015.
Over the last couple of decades, Michael Nyman has completed “CINE OPERA”, a series of video works shot in various parts of the world. Drawn from his globe-trotting travels, introspective journeys and life-changing discoveries, the series is a collection of over 50 cinematographic records documenting various capsules of every-day life, spontaneous events and chosen circumstances through first-hand observation. In July 2010 Michael Nyman released his first feature film entitled NYman with a Movie Camera. The film presents a shot-by-shot reconstruction of Dziga Vertov's iconic film, Man with a Movie Camera, replacing the original sequences with footage from Michael Nyman's own film archives shot over the last two decades. Deeply rooted in Vertov’s original ideas concerned with “the Perception of Truth”, the documentation of “life as it is” and that of “life caught unawares”, Nyman's film attempts to capture the essence of “what is there”, and reflects on what he calls the Persistence of glance, a multi-sensorial experience of time as it occurs, of life as it happens and as recorded by the human memory. The film is a modern-day take on experimental documentary film making through the bias of cinematographic collage.
Nyman’s visual practice has been exhibited in various public institutions, such as the Tate Modern in London, the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His recent work NYman with a Movie Camera was installed to great public and critical acclaim in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh International Festival, attracted thousands of young people during evening performances at Miami Art Fair, and was the VIP presentation at Zona Maco Art Fair in Mexico City. The installation has been seen more recently at the Aidekkman Arts Center in Boston with a 7 screen version of the installation at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence in August 2016.