Need help finding some Michael Nyman music
February 12, 2008 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I need help identifying some film music by Michael Nyman.

I've heard this music in two different movies, Peter Greenaway's The Falls and Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov. From what I've read, it seems like it might also be in the Greenaway movie called Drowning by Numbers. But I haven't seen that movie. Do you know the name of this music? Or perhaps where I could find a recording of it? "The Soundtrack to the Falls" is not a helpful answer. Unless it is. Which is longwinded way of saying that google has turned up nothing.

posted by GalaxieFiveHundred to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Says wikipedia about The Falls: "The soundtrack is mainly by Michael Nyman and is partly based, like his later music for Drowning by Numbers, on the slow movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra K. 364."
I have this problem where many of Michael Nyman's compositions sound the same to me anyway, but this seems like a plausible common thread.
posted by pullayup at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2008

Best answer: "The very best of Michael Nyman - Film music from 1980 - 2001" has a bunch of his music from various films, and "Michael Nyman - The Essential Michael Nyman Band" is similar. Identifying an individual track will be hard without a sample.
posted by scodger at 9:38 PM on February 12, 2008

Not a direct answer, but: have you tried browsing through the Michael Nyman albums at Amazon, such as this one? It appears that you can listen to samples from the tracks. Here is the Drowning by Numbers sound track CD; perhaps the Amazon samples could help you determine whether it includes the same music you're thinking of.
posted by Orinda at 9:40 PM on February 12, 2008

Nyman's Angelfish Decay appears in Greenaway's A Zed and Two Noughts (some Googling suggests it's on the Drowning By Numbers soundtrack also), but I have noticed it used in several other films. Here is also a brief list of Nyman tracks that have been re-used.
posted by hot soup girl at 1:20 AM on February 13, 2008

Best answer: Michael Nyman's website might be helpful; it includes a list of the tracks in Drowning by Numbers and a copy of the CD sleeve notes. See also the notes by this obsessive Greenaway fan on Music in the Falls and the Bird List Song ('lammergeyer, cassowary' etc).

If that doesn't solve your query, let me know; I have the DVD of The Falls and the CD of Drowning by Numbers (the latter film sadly unavailable on DVD) and can look them up when I get home tonight.
posted by verstegan at 2:22 AM on February 13, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, it's the theme from the Bird List Song I'm looking for. It shows up again in a quite different form on my version of Man with a Movie Camera which seems to be rather rare. I was hoping I could do better than one of the best of collections because it's only the rhythmic, repetitious stuff that I'm interested in. I don't really want the cuts from The Piano soundtrack.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 7:17 AM on February 13, 2008

Response by poster: Incidentally, I found a place to hear a bit of the theme. For posterity's sake, it looks like this album (rare) and, failing that, this one have recordings.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 4:19 PM on February 13, 2008

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