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News - Best Documentary Oscar: Man On Wire; Nyman soundtrack

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Man on Wire, featuring music from a number of Michael Nyman’s most important soundtracks won the Oscar for Best Documentary feature at the 81st annual Academy Awards. The film, recently released on DVD, follows Philippe Petit’s incredible high wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center buildings in New York in 1974.

Petit was so thrilled to win that he took to the stage and balanced the Oscar statuette on his chin at the ceremony in LA last night.

Michael Nyman is proud to be part of the British success at the Oscars and excited at the prospect of continuing to work with Philippe Petit, which would not have been possible without their association through Man on Wire.

The idea to use Michael’s music came from Philippe Petit himself, says the film’s director James Marsh. ‘Philippe and I had just begun collaborating on the film and I used to go and watch him as he performed his daily practice routines on a purpose built wire in his back yard. He likes to rehearse to music and amidst an eclectic soundtrack of classical pieces and gypsy music, I was ambushed by Michael Nyman’s stunning Memorial, originally composed for the Greenaway film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. It seemed so perfect for the grace and energy of Philippe’s tight rope routines that it was hard to imagine it ever had any other purpose. It’s a testament to the music’s power and mutability that this theme has now come to define Man On Wire, too.’

Philippe Petit goes on to say ‘Throughout Man on Wire, the music of Michael invites the audience to understand and immerse themselves in the world of the wirewalker, it is because the composer’s talent, sensitivity and imagination happen to draw perfectly from what it takes to promenade in mid-air.’

The Nyman music featured in the film is available from MN Records;

Michael Nyman The Draughtsman's Contract (MNRCD105)
Michael Nyman Nyman/Greenaway Revisited (MNRCD106)
Michael Nyman The Piano (MNRCD107)
Michael Nyman The Libertine (MNRCD104)

The Man On Wire sound track is available on Universal Records

The music of Michael Nyman is published exclusively by Chester Music Limited

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