B-BBC contributor Alan notes the following;

“Watching a film recently on the BBC I spotted the name ‘Michael Nyman’ in the credits for musical composition. His name rang a bell and Google delivered the goods on him.

“He is a prodigious anti-war campaigner who works with the Stop the War Coalition and directs much of his energy towards promoting this stance in his public work.”

 From his diary:
I sat down at the piano and wrote a five-minute piece of music called Thanks but no thanks, Gordon – a minor protest about government plans to replace the Trident missile.
Lunch with gallery-owner Michael Hoppen to seek his advice about becoming a photographic dealer. Later I went to St James’s Church, Piccadilly for a benefit for Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, a medical officer who believes the Iraq war is illegal. I improvised on the piano, trying to express an idealised plea for peace.’

I remembered him from an appearance on the Today programme which told us the BBC had actually commissioned him to write an anti-war piece for them… does the BBC get away with that….pure blatant politicised propangada? How much do you want to ruffle feathers? asks the BBC….
‘The latest work from Michael Nyman, “Handshake in the Dark”, was commissioned for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and received its world premiere at the Barbican in London last night. Rebecca Jones reports.’ 2007. The work is ‘controversial’ says Naughtie…..based on a poem by an Iraqi to his brother captured by the americans (and thought dead)…and is anti-war. Nyman says…’these are disreputable times, wars going on, politicians making terrible illegal decisions about things so this has to be the my anti war piece… it deals with the pain, shock and terror of war.’

What was amusing was scrolling further down the Today programme schedule and you find this prescient(?) diamond of analysis……

‘The EU will be 50 this year. To mark the occasion a document called the Berlin Declaration has been drawn up. We ask Mark Leonard who wrote the book, “Why Europe will run the 21st Century” and Neil O’Brien Director of the Eurosceptic think tank “Open Europe” what they would like to see in the Declaration.’ Leonard tells us that…’Type Europe and crisis into Google and you get 54 million entries (now 625 million!) but in eyes of an historian it is a miraculous success….so I say bring on the crisis as this is when Europe shines.’

Shining brightly?

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9 Responses to RUFFLED FEATHERS?

  1. jarwill101 says:

    Mark Leonard’s book should be, ‘Why Europe (its ‘leaders’) will ruin the 21st Century’. They’ve made a terrific start, & one more massive surge of Third World immigrants should bury our nation states under a seamless expanse of mosques, wind farms & halal slaughterhouses. Epitaph (apologies to Keats) for Great Britain: Here lies one whose name was unwrit by traitors.


  2. Umbongo says:

    I’ve no problem with Nyman being commissioned by the BBC as long as he is the right man for the job.  I fear – talented though Nyman might be – that he is in the same relationship with the BBC as Bono with the same effect in that other, equally or more talented composers are effectively banned from the airwaves because the BBC chooses only those whose political opinions reflect those of the BBC editors involved.  For similar reasons, the BBC insists on dragging on “comedians” from a minuscule selection of lefty rent-a-gobs.  Again, I wouldn’t mind (as with composers) if it was obvious that such choices resulted in the most talented and – where comedians are concerned – the funniest performers available.  
    Unfortunately, not only are the politics of the BBC favoured comedians completely predictable but their humour is dire.  I had the misfortune to hear News Quiz over the weekend “starring” Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstocke and Sandi Toksvig:  it was awful.   But forget the politics: these guys just weren’t funny which, I would have thought, is the necessary (and, probably, sufficient) qualification for their employment. BTW I didn’t expect non-comedian Hugo Rifkind to be amusing – and he wasn’t.  And Susan Calman?  In view of this interview I can see why she is nearing the top of the BBC “must favoured comedians” list.


    • Geyza says:

      I think that Hardy, Brigstocke et al are all delighted that their ‘jobs’ got much easier.  All they have to do now is mention the key words: “tory, Thatcher or Clegg” and they are guaranteed hystericts from their left wing audiences.

      Just like the mid 1990s.  It’s like they have forgotten the 13 years of labour caused catastrophe.  I don’t blame them, as serious trauma is apt to cause memory blanks.


      • jarwill101 says:

        Geyza, if Hardy, Brigstocke, Toksvig & Mark Steel wanted to indulge in some seriously edgy, confrontational humour then why don’t they dress as crusaders and meander down Tower Hamlets way?


  3. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Nyman is one of the top British film composers around.  Plenty of scores and accolades to his credit. He’s done concert music as well, including at least a couple operas, string quartets, concerti, etc. I honestly don’t think he gets commissions because of his Leftoid approved thoughts. 


  4. London Calling says:

    As owner of seventeen Michael Nyman CD’s (I just counted them) I can say I have never had the slightest knowledge of his political opinions, nor any interest in knowing them. He is a composer. His best work was before he fell out with Peter Greenway, and of late, he has churned out Film Scores like a pigs litter, indistinguishable one from the other.

    He is part of the Hampstead/Islington Litterati set so it comes as of no suprise he is engaged in a similar kind of group-think. He has not the slightest idea what he is talking about, but then neither do many of those from the arts who stick there nose out beyond their area of competence – Annie Lennox, Bono, Madonna, Hugh Grant, they all talk complete bollx when it comes to politics.

    Price of fame and celebrity, vanity and a fawning media, the illusion that they have some special insight into the world. They do not, but no one dares tell them. They are famous.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I guess I was vaguely aware of Nyman’s political leanings, but could really care less.  I think I have 5 or 6 recordings of his work, and have heard quite a bit more.  If I started worrying about that sort of thing, I couldn’t listen to any music at all.  If his ideology ever makes its way into his music like in John Adams’ celebration of the Palestinian cause in Klinghoffer, then I’ll start noticing.


      • London Calling says:

        Interesting, DP. Perhaps Nyman and Adams should take note of what Islamists think of decadent western “music”. The Taliban banned it. Bang go their record sales under the Caliphate.
        On the other hand, I have a goodly collection also of Algerian Rai. Celebrates life and so is hated by proponents of the cult of death. Popular Rai singer Cheb Hasni was assasinated by Islamists. Great singers like Khaled who I have seen several times absolutely loath and despise the joyless Islamic nazis loose in their country. Yet the stupid wealthy North London socialists fete on the unholy alliance between Islam and the Liberal Left. Totally out of their depth.