1. A Sixth Part of the World 1
2. The Eleventh Year 1
3. A Sixth Part of the World 2
4. The Eleventh Year 2
5. A Sixth Part of the World 3
6. The Eleventh Year 3
7. A Sixth Part of the World 4
8. The Eleventh Year 4
9. A Sixth Part of the World 5
10. The Eleventh Year 5
Running Time 77 minutes
VERTOV SOUNDS - The Composers Cut Series - Volume IV
"The Michael Nyman Band has never played better than they do here, and the sound quality is excellent. If you only buy one Nyman disc, this is the one to get."
Haskins (American Records Guide)
Michael Nyman has now completed scores for the three major films that the pioneering Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov made in the late 1920s.
To ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ he has added ‘The Eleventh Year’ and ‘A Sixth Part of the World’ and as a unique experiment for MN Records he has created a new Michael Nyman Band work - by making a montage of material from both of the soundtracks into a single, continuous piece which runs for 77 minutes.
VERTOV SOUNDS is the fourth release on MN Records as part of the composer’s cut series
I wrote the score for Man with a Movie Camera in 2002 and now, with A Sixth Part
of the World and The Eleventh Year, I am in the privileged position of having
written soundtracks for the three major films that Dziga Vertov made at the end
of the 1920s and on which his reputation is based in the west. In the same way
as I avoided reading Vertov’s background notes to the music he designated
for Man with a Movie Camera when I wrote my score, so with A Sixth Part and The
Eleventh Year research was deliberately limited and most of my interest seemed
to focus on the similarities and differences between those two films and Man with
a Movie Camera (and had me musing on an interesting trio of self-borrowers -Handel,
Laurence Sterne and Vertov, with whom I have a strong affinity!) My reaction was
to Vertov’s images and the process of their organisation - to the two interrelated,
but dissimilar worlds that he presented and promoted in these two films.
Subsequent research, with the help of Barbara Wurm and other archivists from
the Austrian Film Institute (which has released a DVD of the two films with
the new soundtracks), has allowed me to appreciate differently the content and
the context (both cinematic and political) of these two films. And my discovery
of the book ?Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties, edited by Yuri
Tsivian (2004) has thrown up some wonderful supplementary texts like the critic
Izmail Urazov's appraisal of A Sixth Part of the World. He writes very powerfully
about the musicality of Vertov’s film, which instinctively had influenced
‘Vertov edits sequences like a composer’
That is the cause of the emotion which the film arouses. You cannot relate
it; there is no plot, no intensification of the action, but there is an intensification
of emotion. Like in music. That is where the emotion comes from. Vertov leads
the 'melody', returning to it, playing with dissonances, using the exoticism
of the polar snows and the burning hot sands, almost like something beyond sense,
almost like a composer using the texture of the sounds.
And within Vertov’s sequences there is a rhythm, with which he infects
the viewer: 'a Negress with a child on her back, hammering into your consciousness
the tempo and rhythm of the montage of dancing legs, linked to the rhythm of
a dance, of the movement of machines...' (Tsivian, p 187)
VERTOV SOUNDS represents a very different approach to the way of processing
a soundtrack album: since the music for both films is sectional but continuous
and, like Vertov, constantly refers back on itself, there are no ?named tracks'
that can be separated out in the way that, say, ?Chasing Sheep is Best Left
to Shepherds' from The Draughtsman's Contract has become an independent concert
work. So the music for the films is presented as a non-stop montage of alternating
sequences (sometimes quite complex in themselves) from each film.