Stories » Max Richter personal lullaby for a frenetic world / theguardian

Top 10 for Oct

Max Richter personal lullaby for a frenetic world / theguardian

Bookmark and Share

On one level, Max Richter's latest album is straight-up ambient postminimalism, all hushed and precious moodiness, but there's concept behind the mellow loops and drones and wordless floaty vocals. A decent night's sleep lasts for eight hours; Richter's epic durational work Sleep clocks in at the same. The German-British composer calls it both a "personal lullaby for a frenetic world" and a "very deliberate political statement" on the way we engage with our sonic environment. He wants to know how our brains deal with music while we dream: it is neurological research by incredibly low-key stealth.

The full version, Sleep, is intended to actually send us to sleep, but From Sleep is a one-hour offshoot during which we're supposed to stay awake. Richter plays piano, organ, synths and low-thrumming electronics; the American Contemporary Music Ensemble adds soft-hewn vocals and strings. It's a warm, slow-moving daydream with no sharp edges and a self-consciously hazy sound, as if recorded next door or underwater.  SEE theguardian PAGE