Soviet silent movie given sound

The author of the opera about The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – British composer Michael Nyman – has given a sound injection to a black-and-white silent masterpiece by the Soviet documentary genius David Kaufmann, better known as Dziga Vertov.

­A longtime film aficionado, the virtuoso composer of several scores to Peter Greenaway’s films has composed a soundtrack for A Sixth Part of the World, created by Vertov back in 1926.

It is not the first time the author of seven operas has created music for Vertov’s silent classics. Among his earlier credits are scores for Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera and The Eleventh Year.

Nyman has also tried his hand at photography and filmmaking. Last year he presented his documentary film, Nyman with a Movie Camera, a remake of the 1929 Dziga Vertov piece, in the Russian city of Perm.

Nyman made his name as a minimalist composer whose unconventional music became instantly recognizable in such dramas as The Draughtsman’s Contract, A Zed and Two Noughts and Drowning by Numbers, all by Peter Greenaway.

He also wrote a multi-platinum soundtrack to Jane Campion’s award-winning drama, The Piano.
The celebrated British composer, who is currently working on a new score for Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin, will present his score for A Sixth Part of the World in the Russian capital in September.

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