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Max Richter invites listeners to Sleep / Sydney Morning Herald

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Somewhere in the world, right now, a mother (or father) is singing a lullaby to a baby. The ancient folk art form is common to all cultures, not just in essence but in form. The songs are often in 6/8 time with lyrics warning of danger. Almost all are very short. Max Richter's Sleep is eight hours long. It is designed to send listeners to sleep, and to play while they slumber.

In the age of the soundbite and the 140-character tweet, unleashing such a lengthy work seems almost perverse. "Sleep is one of my favourite activities," Richter told Time magazine, and this is not his first lullaby although the others, which clocked in at about two minutes, were considerably shorter. The British-German composer, based in Berlin, has a habit of initiating ambitious projects. He has released an album of instrumentals designed to be used as ringtones (24 Postcards in Full Colour), and three years ago, as part of Deutsche Grammophon's Recomposed series, he reworked Vivaldi's classic The Four Seasons, replacing 75 per cent of the original score with his own work and adding Moog synthesiser.   READ THE FULL Sydney Morning Herald REVIEW