Max Richter’s SLEEP: “an experiment in music and consciousness”

A new release by German neoclassical composer and musician Max Richter is set for a September 4, 2015 release on the Deutche Grammophon label, in multiple formats.

Samples of the album are available through the label’s website, along with the first official video release from the album, the track Dream 13 (minus even). On his official Facebook page, Richter also stated the video was directed by long-time collaborator and BAFTA award winner Yulia Mahr.

Mahr’s beautifully entrancing video, coupled with Richter’s equally entrancing music create a sense of peaceful nostalgia, with a dreamlike quality that captures the overall essence and title of the album: Sleep. The video also features a heartfelt quote by author and philosopher Albert Camus, which further lends to the track’s essence.

In a video interview and album trailer Richter states, “In a way it’s a question about how everything is getting faster — how all our lives are accelerating. And I think…many of us feel the need for a place to rest — a point of repose. And that’s what this piece is — an eight hour place to rest.”

Additionally he states, “…sleep is…an experiment…into how music and consciousness can connect in a different way. It’s a piece of nighttime music and I think people will actually sleep through it.”

Two versions of the album are set for release. One is the eight-hour version, made with the intention to accompany a full night’s sleep. The other one-hour version features shortened versions of the same tracks.

The album has been hailed by The Telegraph as the “longest ever piece of classical music”. Richter was accompanied by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and assisted by the American neuroscientist David Eagleman, who is the director of the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law.

There will also be live 8-hour-long performances of the album, with the first premiere scheduled in Berlin this September.