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Michael Nyman scores washing machine film

By | Published on Thursday 30 November 2017

Michael Nyman in a washing machine

Samsung has hired legendary soundtrack composer Michael Nyman to compose a score for a film about its new washing machine.

The 66 minute film, due to premiere at the Cineworld cinema in London’s Leicester Square next month, shows the full washing cycle of Samsung’s new QuickDrive washing machine. It is accompanied by a solo piano score from Nyman to complement the ‘drama’.

“By coincidence, this new work comes exactly 300 years after the 1717 premiere of another celebrated composition inspired by the flow of water – German-British composer George Frideric Handel’s ‘Water Musi’, so in some ways we have come full circle with ‘Washing Machine – The Movie'”, says Nyman, already laying it on a bit thick.

Of his decision to actually say yes to this project, aside from what I assume was a hefty pay-cheque, he goes on: “The idea of this intrigued me when I was approached, putting a score to something so visually repetitive and prosaic. As a film composer you are frequently taking a cue from the drama on screen or interpreting it sonically, but here the challenge was to offset the mundanity and also enhance the hypnotic appeal”.

“I have written a lot of music to manufacturing processes, but this is the most elaborate mechanical, mechanistic film I’ve been involved with”, he continues. “I’m interested in the mechanical process, the way that I create musical cycles which are based on repetition and variation and the correlation between that music and what happens in a washing machine process. I really want the music to be heard and I want the music to be loud, so I think with this project its man over machine”.

If you can’t get along to the premiere in London on 5 Dec, the full film will be available on YouTube the next day.┬áHere, just in case you (quite reasonably) thought we’d made this all up, is a trailer.