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Baker's Dozen

Peculiar Relationships: Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Albums
Emily Mackay , November 21st, 2013 08:30

Following this week's release of his live collaborative album with Amanda Palmer, the fantasy and science fiction author picks out the records that have most inspired and informed his writing


Michael Nyman - Drowning By Numbers
As I get older, I'm finding it harder and harder to write with stuff with lyrics in the background, because I listen to them more and more. In the old days I would happily write and write fiction, with stuff that had good words. And if it didn't have good words, it kind of bored me. And Nyman was the first stuff that I found where I could just do it. It was great. Now, more and more I crave stuff without words and go back to the stuff that I loved. And the Michael Nyman Peter Greenaway film soundtracks, for me, were the most interesting stuff that Nyman ever did. I like his other stuff, but there's something weird about them, where they were both classical and modern. They were taking cut-ups of tiny classical motifs and then repeating and repeating them. You've still got these classical motifs going on but now what you're listening to is absolutely and utterly modern music. Drowning By Numbers is my favourite of the Peter Greenaway films, so I have a particular fondness for the music. Even though ‘Angelfish Decay’ on A Zed & Two Noughts is probably a better piece of music than anything on the Drowning By Numbers soundtrack... but Drowning By Numbers I love.