The daring composer Max Richter has created eight-hour piece intended to serve as a tranquilizer. For these 31 uninterrupted pieces, Richter acknowledges the unprecedented test of supporting sleep as well as translating the act into art. If you listen while you’re awake, many of these pieces conjure dreamy states, where ideas seem fluid and flexible and the world around you seems somehow softer.
Sleep, is “an eight-hour lullaby” digital album and a 60-minute adaptation” via Deutsche Grammophon.
“It’s really an experiment to try and understand how we experience music in different states of consciousness.” - explained Richter.
Sleep is therapeutic project. On one hand, the reason for existing is basic: Richter expects for the audience to press "play" on the full-length digital version, fall asleep to rest somewhere close to the patient piano harmonies of "Dream 1" and the vocal-and-organ ululations of "Way 3," and re-rise following eight hours of music to a tender crescendo of extending strings, silent harmonies, and long-tone bass close to the end of "Dream 0". By counseling with celebrated around the world neuroscientist and past partner David Eagleman, Richter has made a slow-motion, electronics-and-chamber-ensemble hybrid to fortify and reflect natural sleep cycles. "An invitation to dream," Richter has called it.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman filled in as a counsel on the project, helping Richter see how the human mind functions when it’s at rest.
Composer put it: “For me, Sleep is an attempt to see how that space when your conscious mind is on holiday can be a place for music to live… This isn’t something new in music; it goes back to Cage, Terry Riley, and LaMonte Young, and it’s coming around again partly as a reaction to our speeded-up lives. We are all in need of a pause button.”
Check out an official Sleep trailer below:
On the other hand, the third-of-a-day span between the beginning and the end isn’t some inert, sustained tone, simply meant to maintain a snooze. Rather, it's an always moving arrangement of carefully performed pieces that both attest and grow Richter's scope as an author. He networks together string quartets and electronic automatons, tense two part harmonies for piano and violin, and drowsy console reflections. Richter brings a large portion of his interests as a writer to hold up under here, as well. He mixes an Arvo Pärt-like feeling of movement with profound, low notes and gleaming automatons that mirror his past in electronica and reverence of Brian Eno. His adoration for noble ideas, already reflected by any semblance of his fundamental The Blue Notebooks, meets his choice, human touch as a piano player.
Sleep is simply excessively educational as a name. It's an order that reveals to us how to appreciate something that obviously has different employments. That handle, joined with Richter's pride, has transformed the record into a sort of clickbait story which appears to be completely contradictory to Richter's point. ("That 8-Hour Sleep Album—Explained," offers the Time feature.) Pause and Rest come nearer to Richter's definitive objective of essentially taking some time out from the hurricane around you. Getting it done, Sleep feels like compositionally thorough new age music. It's a place in which you can settle for some time, with or without a pad, and rise just when you are prepared to rejoin the anxious world.