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The incomparable stillness of Max Richter's 'Sleep' / The Michigan Daily

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It's quiet here.

Outside, in the frigid darkness, nothing moves. No birds sing, no deer wander, no headlights cut through the clear air. Even the wind seems to be hushed. Somewhere over the trees the moon silently hangs suspended above the wisps of cloud. In the apartment around me, each of its inhabitants respire in steady, relaxed tempos. The world is sleeping.

It's 5:19 a.m. and everything is still.

For the past several hours, essentially all night, I have been immersed in Max Richter's composition "Sleep." Listening to this piece is like a sort of trance - once you enter into it, you stop noticing it's there. The music gradually melds into the scenery, fades into the background of whatever you are doing and enters into you. It isn't so much doing anything as it is simply being: being present, being absent, being everywhere and nowhere at once. Its principal characteristic is its inexplicable, elusive feeling of grounded placelessness. It invites you into its care and envelops your tired mind in a soft embrace. It hovers at the periphery of your senses. "Sleep" doesn't ask for anything from you. It doesn't demand your attention or your love or your hate, or even your recognition. It goes on whether you're listening or not. To try to analyze it would be beside the point.

READ THE FULL The Michigan Daily ARTICLE by Dayton Hare