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Classical 101

"Sleep through my Music, Please," Says British Composer Max Richter

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Flood Magazine, Deutsch Grammophone image
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Max Richter's upcoming piece called, "SLEEP" is an invitation for audience members to take a rest during the music.

If you think Wagner's operas were too long and feared you might fall asleep in the middle of Die Meistersinger, how about an eight hour lullaby?  As reported by Reuters, British composer Max Richter has written the longest piece of classical music ever recorded, and it's meant to put you to sleep, literally.  In fact it's called "SLEEP."

It's the ultimate "nighttime" music , and when it receives its world premier in Berlin in September, the audience for the concert will be given beds instead of seats for the eight hour performance beginning at midnight and and ending at 8 am.  It's being recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, no less, and will be released digitally on September 4.  If they were using the "old" technology, how many compact discs would that take?

The composer says that the pace of life today has accelerated so much that we could really use, "an eight hour place to rest."  With its use of electronic sounds and lulling cello line, the idea behind  "SLEEP" has connections with the longer experimental works of avant garde composers such as John Cage, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, and other contemporary composers that inspired Max Richter.

Sounds like relaxing music taken "to the max."  

-sc