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Max Richter’s Sleep to be Released for Streaming in its Eight-Hour Entirety on World Sleep Day, March 16

For immediate release

Max Richter's Sleep to be Released for Streaming in its Eight-Hour Entirety on World Sleep Day, March 16



27 February 2018 (Toronto, ON) - On March 16, coinciding with World Sleep Day, Max Richter’s eight-hour opus, Sleep, in its true and original form, will be made available for streaming for the first time via Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. The ability to stream the composition allows listeners to experience it without interruption during their sleeping hours, as the composer intended.  

Richter’s works tend to be derived from concepts he feels warrant wider attention. The 51-year-old described these notions as a “definite social purpose” for his creativity as he aims “to tell stories that ‘speak’, pose questions, and take the listener on a journey.”

While composing Sleep, Richter worked closely with the American neuroscientist David Eagleman. “I’m aiming to explore how the brain can be a space for music to inhabit when our consciousness is on holiday,” he explained. “Sleep avoids the high notes - nothing above a couple of hundred hertz. This reflects the acoustic environment of a foetus in the uterus. There are about 40 beats per minute, which is a very gentle resting pulse.” The reverberations in the recording are reminiscent of how music sounds when we are falling asleep. "Slow descending diatonic scales gently carry us into the realm of alpha, delta, and theta waves,” Richter explains. The work, which contains over 30 different variations, is a bed of sound into which the stressed can sink into without hesitation. Richter follows in the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach who, in 1741, wrote his Goldberg Variations for a sleepless Count.

The intention behind the unique stream of this singular work is not to be consumed as a ‘sleep aid’ but as an accompaniment to the whole ritual of the preparation for sleep, awakening, and what lies between. The music is "so gentle and trance-inspiring that you cannot prevent yourself from falling into a state of relaxation,” commented The Wall Street Journal.

Out of The Blue Notebooks (the ground-breaking album which itself will be released in May 2018 in an expanded reissue), his adaptation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and his recent ballet work Three Worlds – Music from Woolf Works, Sleep is the British composer’s most famous opus.

This spring, Richter will enthral the American public with his eight-hour lullaby for piano, string quintet, electronics, and vocals. Following concerts in Berlin, London, Sydney, Amsterdam, Zurich, Madrid, and Paris, Sleep will be performed overnight on March 12 at the legendary South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, followed by an overnight performance on March 16 at Auckland Festival. As with all Sleep live performances, the audience experiences the music in beds rather than concert seats. Expect pyjamas, sleeping bags, and an experience that both audience and media alike have found incredibly moving. Richter, Grace Davidson (soprano), and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (who originally made the Deutsche Grammophon recording of Sleep at New York's Avatar Studios) take on the challenge of this eight-hour performance knowing that "it's all long, sustained notes, and there's no room to hide. It has to be perfect,” says violinist Brian Snow.

With his magnum opus, Max Richter has realised mankind’s most modern dream - to find a place away from the noise to enjoy simple tranquillity. 



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