• Michael Nyman
  • The Photography of Chance (full version) (2004)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Brolly Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • pf/vn.vc
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Even though this work was intended to celebrate (as instructed by the commissioner, Brolly Arts of Salt Lake City) the wildlife and landscape of Utah (and especially its birdlife, notably the sora, which has a noticeable influence on the melodic writing at times), the title refers, ironically in this ‘natural’ context, to the re-seeing’ of (mainly industrial) reality in early Soviet photography. Aleksandr Rodchenko (1881-1956) drew attention to the new type of photographer as someone who photographs ‘facts’ and who is able, through photography, to fight against ‘looking like art’ with high quality examples, and to do this you have to experiment, going as far as the ‘easelisation’ of the photographic art.

The work was written for, and first performed by, the Ahn Trio in November 2004, in Salt Lake City, and is dedicated to the memory of John Peel, the British radio disc jockey who died during the final stages of its composition.

Michael Nyman


Score sample