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…..how 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.’