This might very well be the ultimate lullaby. Right at the start of the 2018 SXSW Music Festival, Max Richter's eight-hour composition Sleep was performed overnight to an audience tucked into 150 beds. They — the audience, not the tireless group of musicians who performed the piece — slept, dreamed and sometimes snored through this trance-inducing experience.
"Sleeping and being asleep is one of my favorite activities," Richter told NPR in 2015, just before Sleep premiered. "Really, what I wanted to do is provide a landscape or a musical place where people could fall asleep."
Richter has performed Sleep live a few times now, and brought the experience to Bass Hall in Austin, Texas. In the video here, you'll see Richter himself on keyboards and electronics, along with the ACME string ensemble and soprano vocalist Grace Davidson, surrounded by those snoozing listeners. This is just an excerpt of the eight-hour concert, but should induce a moment's calm whenever you should need it.
For the first time, Sleep is now available on digital service providers.
Producers: Bob Boilen, Mito Habe-Evans; Director/Videographer: Nickolai Hammar; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Photo: Bob Boilen/NPR; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey.
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