Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Man on Wire
Music by Michael Nyman
Decca 478 1126 (UK)
16 Tracks 78:08 mins

Director James Marsh's documentary concerning tightrope Philippe Petit's amazing, if illegal, feat of walking the high wire between New York's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, features largely music by Michael Nyman, drawn from his extensive back catalogue, concentrating especially on his work for Peter Greenaway, though other pieces from the likes of The Piano and The Libertine feature.
The director was inspired to use Nyman's music from watching Petit practicising on his purpose built wire in his back yard, where he is always accompanied by a variety of music, largely classical and gypsy in origin. but one piece struck him, "Memorial," written by Nyman for Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Petit quickly agreed to the use of the composer's music in the film, and this generous album presents 12 of his most memorable compositions, along with two dramatic orchestral/electronic pieces composed by Josh Ralph, accompanying the criminal activities of Petit and his team as they break into the towers and hide out, prior to the walk.
Completing this enjoyable album are two of my favourite classical piano pieces, the mysterious Gnossienne No.1 and the elegant Gymnopedie No.1, by Erik Satie, performed by Pascal Roge.
Accompanying the CD is a 16-page booklet, featuring notes by both Petit and Marsh, together with information on both the director and Nyman.
In conclusion, if you are already a fan of Michael Nyman's music, you will probably already have all the selections of his music on this disc but, if not, they serve as a pretty decent introduction to his pretty unique style; and, along with the two Satie pieces, and suitably tense and sneaky score tracks by Ralph, make for a very entertaining album indeed.


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