Anyone who’s ever dozed in the middle of a concerto will appreciate the sweet sound of this news: A composer has created a piece for doing just that.
British artist Max Richter has written an eight-hour “lullaby” called “SLEEP.” The piece is not only meant to facilitate slumber, but the premiere audience is set to listen from the comfort of actual beds. The performance will take place in Berlin this September, and will last from midnight until 8 a.m.
For those who can’t make it to Germany, an eight-hour digital version was released on September 4, 2015. It will be the longest piece of classical music ever recorded and the piece itself is the longest single piece of classical music ever written. An hour-long adaptation will also be released, should someone wish to have a conscious experience engaging with the music.
“SLEEP” is scored for piano, strings, vocals and electronics. While writing it, Richter consulted with American neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn about how the brain functions during sleep.
In a teaser for the piece on YouTube, Richter says, “It’s a piece of nighttime music and I’m hoping people will actually sleep through it.” He goes on to describe it as “an eight hour place to rest.”
• 1960 ~ “Once Upon a Mattress” closed at Alvin Theater New York City after 460 performances
• 1971 ~ Edward Ballantine, Composer, died at the age of 84
• 1972 ~ “Fiddler on the Roof” closed at Imperial Theater New York City after 3242 performances
• 1973 ~ Betty Grable, U.S. actress, singer and World War Two pin-up girl, died. Her films included “How To Marry A Millionaire,” “Down Argentine Way” and “Tin Pan Alley.”
• 1979 ~ Sony introduced the Walkman, the first portable audio cassette player. Over the next 30 years they sold over 385 million Walkmans in cassette, CD, mini-disc and digital file versions, and were the market leaders until the arrival of Apple’s iPod and other new digital devices.
• 1984 ~ Ramiro Cortes, Composer, died at the age of 50
• 1984 ~ Epic Records set a record as two million copies of the Jacksons’ new album, Victory, were shipped to stores. It was the first time that such a large shipment had been initially sent to retailers. The LP arrived just days before Michael and his brothers started their hugely successful Victory Tour.
• 1987 ~ Michael Bennet, Choreographer of A Chorus Line, died at the age of 44
• 1992 ~ Edith Valckaert, Belgian violinist, died at the age of 42
• 1992 ~ Jose Monje, Spanish flamenco singer, died
• 1994 ~ Marion Williams, Gospel singer, died at the age of 66
• 1995 ~ “Rose Tattoo” closed at Circle in the Square New York City after 80 performances
• 2002 ~ Ray Brown, a legendary jazz bassist who played with Dizzy Gillespie,CharlieParker and his one-time wife Ella Fitzgerald in a career that spanned a half century, died in his sleep in Indianapolis. He was 75. Brown was in Indianapolis for an engagement at the Jazz Kitchen. Brown, whose fluid sound helped define the bebop era, started his career in the
• 1940s and performed during jazz’s Golden Age with Gillespie, Parker and BudPowell. He was a founder of bebop and appeared with Gillespie in the 1946 film “Jivin’ in Be-Bop.” Brown later became musical director and husband of singer Ella Fitzgerald. They divorced in the early 1950s. Ray Matthews Brown was born in Pittsburgh in 1926 and moved in 1945 to New York. While playing in Gillespie’s Big Band in 1946 and 1947, he became Fitzgerald’s music director – and, in the late 1940s, her husband. Brown played with an early edition of what became the Modern Jazz Quartet, recording with the Milt Jackson Quartet in 1951. He subsequently was a founding member of the Oscar Peterson’s Trio, which ranked among jazz’s most popular groups of the ’50s and ’60s. Among his recordings is the solo effort Something for Lester.
• 2002 ~ Experimental composer Earle Brown, whose visually elegant scores and collaborative spirit pushed traditional musical composition, died at his home in Rye, N.Y. He was 75. Brown worked with composer John Cage and became known for his graphic scores. One of their most famous works is “December 1952.” Brown believed in allowing musicians much freedom in playing his compositions, describing “December 1952” as “an activity rather than a piece by me, because of the content being supplied by the musicians.” Brown’s music was highly influential in Europe and he was repertory director of an important series of new-music recordings that included works by 49 composers from 16 countries between 1960 and 1973. He taught at Yale University, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals.