Classical composer Max Richter, known for HBO’s The Leftovers, loves sleeping so much that he created an 8-hour album designed to help listeners get some shut-eye. I tried to listen to it just now, but honestly, it’s early and I’m very tired, and that’s kind of a lot to ask.
We spend more time sleeping than we do anything else — in the average life it amounts to several decades. What a miraculous part of our lives, this state of suspended animation existing between being and non-being (and for me personally, where all my work is actually done). What happens to music here? Are there ways in which music and consciousness can interact other than in a wakeful state? Can music function as a truly shared creative space?
According to the Washington Post, Richter consulted with neurological experts to learn how to encourage slow-wave (AKA deep, pre-rapid eye movement) sleep in listeners. And here’s the best part: when Richter and his ensemble perform the album in Berlin this fall, they will play straight from midnight until 8 AM to an audience reclining in “four or five hundred beds.”
The album is out today, with a condensed one-hour version available on Spotify. Check out the trailer, below:
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Image via USA/Marie Antoinette.