#WorldSleepDay (Friday March 13) – Max Richter / Sleep


Today, every year on the Friday before the northern hemisphere vernal equinox is “World Sleep Day” – an annual event organized by the World Sleep Society (formerly known as the World Association of Sleep Medicine. It seeks to draw attention to the benefits of good and healthy sleep.

Max Richter’s landmark 8.5 hour work explicitly named “Sleep”, through which the listener should definitely allow him or herself to sleep, explores new ways for music and consciousness to interact. According to Max Richter it is a “personal lullaby for a frenetic world…a manifesto for a slower pace of existence”. The work consists of 31 variations on a small set of themes and features the rich voice of soprano Grace Davidson and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, who provide mysterious, drifting string quintet interludes.

Sold out performances at such venues as the Sydney Opera House, Philharmonie de Paris, Grand Park in Los Angeles, New York City’s Spring Studios, London’s Barbican and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw are a testament to the work’s international acclaim.

Links:
Full Sleep album
Spotify "Classical Sleep" playlist (featuring several Sleep tracks)
Amazon Music “Dream Time” playlist (featuring several Sleep tracks)
Apple Music “Peaceful Sleep” playlist (featuring several Sleep tracks)




MAX RICHTER - VLADIMIR'S BLUES




Watch Max Richter's new video for 'Vladimir's Blues', one of his most successful pieces from his acclaimed composition and album The Blue Notebooks from 2003.


DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

In 2003 Max Richter wrote The Blue Notebooks in reaction to the violence he experienced as a child, and as a protest against the impending Iraq War. In all the years I’ve known him, this drive to talk about the very real and lifelong effects of violence has remained a constant in his work. We are human beings, we stand together, but our common humanity is fragile.

When I was asked to make the video for “Vladimir’s Blues” – one of the pieces that make up The Blue Notebooks – I knew immediately that I wanted the very fabric of the film to reflect Max’s intentions. I have been working with infrared for ten years, and this led me to explore the thermal camera technology used by the military as a way to capture the heart of Max’s work.

This is technology developed by weapons contractors to pick up on the infrared radiation emitted by people as well as objects, and commonly used in the Mediterranean and on the Mexican border, or on military aircraft and drones. It’s a technology that by its very nature dehumanises us, and renders us as little more than anonymous heat patterns.

I wondered about these cameras of war and alienation, and whether I could disrupt their intention to create something positive, that speaks very much of individual experience. There is a strange beauty inherent in this imagery, a beauty that is deeply tarnished by associations with migrants hiding, and dying, in refrigerated lorries to evade detection by this very same technology. Would it be possible to claim this imagery for something hopeful, as Max’s music does?

There were challenges. The cameras are unwieldy and cumbersome, often these days used in industrial applications but certainly not meant for creating narrative. They interrupt filming every fifteen seconds or so, there are only two lenses, and the depth of field is minute. One small movement pulls you out of focus. They can see through smoke, fog and haze but they can’t see through glass. They pick up radiation from objects as well as people – everything above absolute zero emits radiation. I had to invent a way to tell a story with them.

Slowly a thing of beauty began to evolve. Most beautiful of all was the discovery that the heat traces we leave as we move around can tell the story of a piece of music and how it unfolds. A legacy that says, “we were here and we count”.

Yulia Mahr



MAX RICHTER’S SLEEP PREMIERES AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2020

  • Screenings: Friday 24th January, 9.30pm, Holiday Cinema *Press & Industry Screening Friday 31st January, 2.30pm at Egyptian Theatre, Park City Theaters Saturday 1st February, 7.15pm at Broadway Centre Cinema 3, Salt Lake City

  • ‘Max Richter’s Sleep’ will have its North American Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2020 accompanied by a special evening concert performance of ‘From Sleep’ performed by Max Richter and the ACME Quintet.

    Eagle Rock Films are proud to present the documentary from JA Films and Globe Productions, produced by Julie Jakobek, Yulia Mahr, Oualid Mouaness and Stefan Demetriou and directed by Emmy-nominated, award-winning filmmaker Natalie Johns.

    Lift yourself out of the festival’s frenetic pace for a spellbinding evening performance, as Max Richter performs a 90-minute concert version of this eight-hour opus, Sleep, with a string quintet from New York’s American Contemporary Music Ensemble and soprano Grace Davidson. The concert will be followed by a Q&A with Max Richter, his creative partner and producer of Sleep Yulia Mahr, and filmmaker Natalie Johns (Max Richter’s Sleep).

    Telling the story behind the landmark nocturnal work, this unique new release follows trail-blazing composer and performer Max Richter as he consolidates an ambitious performance of his critically acclaimed eight-hour opus, SLEEP.

    The film plunges deeply into the artist’s life and process, transcending the work to explore his legacy. Personal reflections from Max Richter, and visual archive from his long-term creative partner, the BAFTA winning filmmaker, Yulia Mahr - the co-architect of SLEEP – help build this intimate portrait – along with contributions that illuminate both the science and story behind the work.

    Natalie Johns’ ground-breaking visual portrait echoes the contemplative essence of Richter’s work, offering a poetic depiction of the ‘liminal state’ audiences experience when attending a live performance – where fans slumber through the overnight concert in beds, not seats. In his unguarded account, Richter describes the extraordinary composition as ‘writing the music I needed to hear’ - an antidote to the always-on world we inhabit.

    Centring around the open-air concert in Los Angeles, as well as footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris, the film examines the artist’s life and process. Performances of SLEEP require unprecedented endurance from Richter and his small ensemble of musicians and open vulnerability from audiences; strangers drifting in and out of consciousness amongst hundreds of others.

    SLEEP is an epic lullaby of music and science, providing respite from the chaos of the modern world – a rare story and an expression of a global community, unified.

    Max Richter’s eight-hour SLEEP concert is the live incarnation of his 2015 Deutsche Grammophon album of the same name, which has been hugely successful worldwide – praised by critics and garnering roughly 350 million streams. The landmark piece was premiered in London four years ago (becoming the longest single continuous piece of music ever broadcast live on the radio) and has since been performed around the world in a variety of stunning venues including the Sydney Opera House, Grand Park in Los Angeles, Kraftwerk Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris and most recently at the Great Wall of China.

    Natalie Johns says “The creative intent of Sleep afforded me rare freedom in developing the film’s approach and narrative; an experience that I found truly liberating. I’m thrilled to bring this immersive film to a true film lovers audience at Sundance 2020.”

    Producers Julie Jakobek and Stefan Demetriou say: “For Natalie and ourselves to collaborate with Yulia Mahr and Max Richter to realise their unique project Sleep on screen has been an incredibly fulfilling artistic process for all involved. Natalie Johns’ beautiful film manages to somehow convey Yulia and Max’s creative vision, and process, whilst never losing sight of the work’s quiet wonder and global impact. We’re all very honoured to be a part of Sundance 2020 – it feels like a wonderful home for the film.”



    MAX RICHTER’S SLEEP

    WORLD PREMIERE AT THE INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

    ‘Max Richter’s Sleep – a new movie which tells the story behind the composer’s landmark nocturnal work – has premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (21-30 November 2019).

    Eagle Rock Films in association with Deutsche Grammophon present a JA Films and Globe Productions documentary. It is produced by Julie Jakobek, Yulia Mahr, Oualid Mouaness and Stefan Demetriou.

    A unique new release, the film follows trail-blazing composer and performer Max Richter as he consolidates an ambitious performance of his critically acclaimed eight-hour opus, SLEEP.

    The film plunges deeply into the artist’s life and process, transcending the work to explore his legacy. Personal reflections and visual archive material from Max and long-time creative partner, film-maker Yulia Mahr – the co-architect of SLEEP – help build this intimate portrait, along with contributions that help illuminate both the science and story behind the work.

    Directed by Emmy-nominated and award-winning filmmaker Natalie Johns, this ground-breaking visual portrait echoes the contemplative essence of Richter’s work, offering a poetic depiction of the ‘liminal state’ audiences experience when attending a live performance – where fans slumber through the overnight concert in beds, not seats.

    In his unguarded account, Richter describes the extraordinary compositions as “writing the music I needed to hear” – an antidote to the ‘always-on’ world we inhabit.

    Centring around the open-air concert in Los Angeles, as well as footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris, the film examines the artist’s life and process. Performances of SLEEP require unprecedented endurance from Richter and his small ensemble of musicians and open vulnerability from audiences; strangers drifting in and out of consciousness amongst hundreds of others.

    SLEEP is an epic lullaby of music and science, providing respite from the chaos of the modern world – a rare story and an expression of a global community, unified.

    Max Richter’s eight-hour SLEEP concert is the live incarnation of his 2015 Deutsche Grammophon album of the same name, which has been hugely successful worldwide – praised by critics and garnering roughly 350 million streams. The landmark piece was premiered in London four years ago (becoming the longest single continuous piece of music ever broadcast live on the radio) and has since been performed around the world in a variety of stunning venues including the Sydney Opera House, Grand Park in Los Angeles, Kraftwerk Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris and most recently at the Great Wall of China.

    Peter Worsley, MD Eagle Rock Films says: “We are delighted that Natalie Johns’s ground-breaking new work is premiering at IDFA, the world’s largest documentary film festival. As SLEEP was previously performed in Amsterdam, there’s a sense of bringing it home, as well as sharing this innovative, immersive film with a wider audience.”

    Marc Robinson, President of Globe adds: “We’re proud to have partnered with JA Films and Yulia Mahr to produce this film about Max Richter’s incredible project, SLEEP. Never-before has there been a concert experience of this magnitude, and audiences around the world have been captivated by Max’s and Yulia’s creation. This beautiful documentary captures the essence of their artistic process and gives a fascinating insight into the innovative musical phenomenon that is SLEEP.”





    MAX RICHTER - TO THE STARS

    »Ein interstellares Meisterwerk« – IndieWire

    Per aspera ad astra: Lateinisch für »Durch Mühsal zu den Sternen«


    Der Komponist Max Richter tritt eine Reise zu den Sternen an, indem er, im Titel des Singles »To The Stars«, den Soundtrack Album des neuen Films AD ASTRA veröffentlicht, der Brad Pitt in der Hauptrolle zeigt.

    In AD ASTRA spielt Brad Pitt einen Elite-Astronauten, unterwegs zum Rand des Sonnensystems, um seinen verschollenen Vater zu finden und um ein Rätsel zu entschlüsseln, das das Überleben unseres Planeten bedroht. Sein Flug durch die Galaxis deckt Geheimnisse auf über das Wesen der menschlichen Existenz und unseren Platz im Universum.

    Streicher, Elektronik und Gesang vereint die Partitur, die Max Richter begleitet von intensiven Gesprächen mit Brad Pitt und AD ASTRA-Regisseur James Gray zu Papier brachte. Er komponierte eine gewaltige Klanglandschaft, die die emotionale Kraft und die Dimension des Films unterstreicht. Bereits zu Beginn der Filmproduktion hatte er sich an die Arbeit gesetzt.

    »Anfang 2018 sah ich erstmals einen Rohschnitt des Films und war sofort davon eingenommen«, erinnert sich Richter. »Ich wollte Teil dieser Welt sein, die James in AD ASTRA erfand. James, Brad und ich setzten uns zusammen und entwarfen erste Gedanken. Danach machte ich Skizzen, unabhängig von den Bildern, ich tauchte musikalisch in das Thema und die Psychologie dieses Materials ein. Die Einfälle entwickelten sich dabei durch einen gemeinsamen Prozess des Experimentierens. James hat einen sehr feinen Musikgeschmack und einen ebenso feinen Sinn dafür, wie Klänge und Bilder zusammenwirken. Die expressiven Möglichkeiten experimenteller Musikproduktion faszinieren ihn. Er war der ideale Begleiter auf dieser musikalischen Entdeckungsreise.«

    Richter hatten beim Komponieren beispielsweise die Voyager-Sonden der NASA inspiriert, die in den 1970er-Jahren die Erde verließen, um das äußere Planetensystem zu durchqueren. Übermittelte Töne von Voyager 1 und 2 webte er nun in seine Klänge.

    Richter: »Durch diese Art von ›Außenaufnahmen‹ konnte ich Material verwenden, das tatsächlich von den Orten stammt, wo die Handlung spielt: Als Brad zum Beispiel an Saturn oder Jupiter vorbeikommt, hören wir die Musik, die aus den Daten entwickelt wurde, die die Voyager-Sonden von dort übertrugen. Die Handlung wird durch die Musik plastischer: Wie traditionelle Filmmusik untermalt sie das Geschehen, doch zugleich dokumentiert sie auch die Reise auf gänzlich neue Art, weil sie Material nutzt, das tatsächlich vom Trip selbst stammt.«

    Dem langen Prozess der Postproduktion des Films entsprechend schuf Max Richter seine Komposition in zwei Schritten. Das erste Material, das aus den Voyager-Daten entwickelt war, wurde Anfang 2018 geschrieben und im Januar 2019 in den AIR Studios in London aufgenommen; die zweite Aufnahme fand im Sommer 2019 statt. Die Schlüsselelemente der Musik werden mithilfe von Streichern und Elektronik geschaffen, wobei ein Frauenchor den Tönen Wärme gibt. Zusammen verbinden sie sich mit den imponierenden Bildern zu »einer hinreißenden Art Symphonie« (Vanity Fair).

    AD ASTRA, ein Film von Regisseur James Gray, fand im letzten Monat ein überwältigendes Echo bei seiner Uraufführung im Rahmen der Filmfestspiele von Venedig. Die Kritik war enthusiastisch, besonderes Lob bekam Brad Pitts darstellerische Leistung; eine »hervorragende Weltraum-Oper« nannte der Guardian das Werk, eine »unvergessliche Reise zu den Sternen« beschied Time Out, »Certified Fresh« gab Rotten Tomatoes als Siegel.

    Richter: »Dieser Film war ein sehr anstrengendes Unterfangen. Es ist ein Projekt, das Brad und James gleichermaßen am Herzen liegt. Sie legten ihre ganze Kraft da rein und haben jahrelang an der Geschichte gefeilt, bis sie zufrieden waren. Ich habe nichts als Bewunderung für diese Hingabe.«


    HIER zum AD ASTRA-Clip mit Max Richters Musik


    Unter der Regie von James Gray (Die versunkene Stadt Z, The Immigrant), nach einem Drehbuch von Gray und seinem langjährigen Mitarbeiter Ethan Gross (TV-Serie Fringe – Grenzfälle des FBI), wirken in AD ASTRA auch Oscarpreisträger Tommy Lee Jones (Das ist erst der Anfang, Jason Bourne), die oscarnomierte Ruth Negga (Loving, TV-Serie Preacher), Liv Tyler (Der Herr der Ringe, Armageddon) und Donald Sutherland (Die Tribute von Panem, TV-Serie Trust) mit.

    Der Film wurde produziert von Verantwortlichen bei Plan B Entertainment – den Oscarpreisträgern Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, PGA, und Jeremy Kleiner, PGA (Vice – Der zweite Mann, Moonlight, 12 Years A Slave, The Big Short) – sowie James Gray, PGA, Anthony Katagas, PGA (Die versunkene Stadt Z, 12 Years a Slave), Rodrigo Teixeira, PGA von RT Features (Call Me by Your Name), und Arnon Milchan von Regency Enterprises (Gone Girl – Das perfekte Opfer). Marc Butan, Lourenço Sant’Anna, Sophie Mas, Yu Dong, Jeffrey Chan, Anthony Mosawi, Paul Conway, Yariv Milchan und Michael Schaefer waren Executive Producers.


    www.maxrichtermusic.com

    www.foxmovies.com/movies/ad-astra