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Deceptive Cadence

Trouble Sleeping? A Composer Wants To Help

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Max Richter has written <em>Sleep</em>, an eight-hour lullaby for our fast-paced lives.
Rhys Frampton, Deutsche Grammophon
Max Richter has written Sleep, an eight-hour lullaby for our fast-paced lives.

British composer Max Richter spent about two years writing and recording a piece of music which, if it's successful, few people will hear in full. It's a composition called Sleep and it runs eight hours long — the perfect length for a good night's rest. The full version of the piece will be released as a digital album Friday.

"Sleeping and being asleep is one of my favorite activities," Richter says. "Really, what I wanted to do is provide a landscape or a musical place where people could fall asleep."

That's right: This music is designed to put you to sleep.

Richter and his ensemble will premiere the piece in Berlin this fall, playing from midnight until 8 a.m. in a venue customized for the occasion.

"We basically will play in the round, so the band is in the middle, and ringed around it are four or five hundred beds," Richter says.

And if all goes well, there will be as much snoring as applause.

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