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Acclaimed British composer Max Richter is about to make history, with a ground-breaking piece of work: his new work, "SLEEP," is an eight-hour lullaby. An exploration of music, consciousness and human connectivity, the work is intended to be listened to while sleeping. The landmark work is played on piano, strings, with subtle electronic touches and vocals - but no words. This album, "From SLEEP," is a one-hour version.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language: : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.67 x 4.92 x 0.43 inches; 3.67 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Deutsche Grammophon
- Original Release Date : 2015
- Date First Available : July 10, 2015
- Label : Deutsche Grammophon
- ASIN : B00ZQ67LP0
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#17,739 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- #308 in Chamber Music (CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When I got the whole album, I played the first two clips and almost fell asleep before I got to bed. Soothing sound, broken up into sections, so you do not have to play the whole thing.
But his most notorious composition is undoubtedly Sleep, an 8-hour magnum opus from 2015 that was released as a boxed set comprising eight CDs plus a Blu-ray disc that contained the whole piece for those who might desire to play the music uninterruptedly while they yes, slept. According to the composer, "It's a piece that is meant to be listened to at night. I hope that people will fall asleep while listening to it, because the project is also a personal exploration into how music interacts with consciousness – another fascination for me."
Believe it or not, Sleep has been performed live in numerous venues, with the audience being invited to come not only to hear the piece, but of course to sleep through it, with bedding being provided. A bit of a Bizarro World Woodstock, if you will…
Not to worry though, friends, I am not about to set off on a detailed, track-by-track exposition of all 31 tracks (with many lasting more than 20 minutes) of an eight-hour recording. Even if I had auditioned it (which I haven't), and even were I then somehow buzzed up enough to sit down and write such a review without falling asleep at my keyboard before completing it, I am afraid the end product would likely put you to sleep before you would be able to finish it. Instead, I am commenting upon a single CD, From Sleep, which contains seven tracks that were recorded during the same sessions that produced the Sleep recording but were not included in that release. From Sleep was released not only to give listeners a taste of what the full version would be like, but also to provide a coherent, satisfying musical experience in its own right. Having not yet experienced either a live or recorded rendition of Sleep in its entirety, I am unqualified to comment on From Sleep's success as representative of the full release, but I hope I am at least marginally qualified in some respects at least to declare that From Sleep does provide an enjoyable musical experience.
The track listing for From Sleep is as follows: 1. Dream 3 (in the midst of my life), 2. Path 5 (delta), 3. Space 11 (invisible pages over), 4. Dream 13 (minus even), 5. Space 21 (petrichor), 6. Path 19 (yet frailest), 7. Dream 8 (late and soon). These titles are reflective of those of the full release, which includes Dreams 1, 2, 11, 19, 17, and 0; Path and Path 17; and Spaces 26, 2, and 17; as well as many other titles not represented in From Sleep.
The net result is a pleasant, soothing, relaxing hour of listening. Several themes weave in and out of the tracks. On the surface, the music sounds much the same throughout the tracks with the same names, but with subtle variations that mean the music is never static. The "Dream" tracks – 1, 4, and 7 -- form the backbone of the program, comprising the opening, middle, and closing selections, with the four "Path" and "Space" tracks symmetrically filling up the rest of the hour-long program.
The opening track, "Dream 3 (in the midst of my life)." is in itself somewhat symmetrical, opening and closing with stately chords on the keyboard, but with strings slowly weaving their lines over keyboard accompaniment throughout its central measures. "Path 5 (delta)" features soothing soprano voice lines combined with keyboards and electronics, including a warm underlay of organ. "Space 11 (invisible pages over)" opens with synth chords and continues with rich-sounding washes of sound, including a deep bass foundation – yes, it sounds spacey. "Dream 13 (minus even)" opens with cello and keyboard, with the cello carrying the main melody in subtle variation. As the track continues, the keyboard sometimes sounds almost harp-like, with some synth and strings hovering above the keyboard accompaniment, all gently pushing forward. "Space 21 (petrichor)" opens with some bass synth notes and continues as a multilayer synth piece. "Path 19 (yet frailest)" sounds much like Path 5, but with instruments rather than voice carrying the melody. The final track "Dream 8 (late and soon)" reverses that strategy by reintroducing the vocal line.
The sound quality throughout is rich and full-range, with plenty of warmth despite the inclusion of electronic sounds. Indeed, there is no sense of edginess to the electronic sounds and the acoustic instruments are well served tonally. However, the usual considerations of sound stage and imaging and such are of course pretty much obviated by the overdubbing and mix.
Hopefully assuming that you have yet been lulled into slumber by my somnolent prose, I will conclude by noting that the liner notes include interesting brief essays by Richter, Tim Cooper, and neuroscientist David Eagleman, with whom Richter had consulted in preparation for undertaking such a project. There is even an intriguing and appropriate quotation from the nineteenth-century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Enticed by this CD, I may someday go crazy and acquire the full-blown Sleep package, but if I do, I hereby promise not to write a review featuring a full-blown (overblown!) track-by-track exegesis!
One friend is thinking about using it for her massage work, another for counseling atmosphere.
Exquisite and highly recommended.
If you are searching for something truly relaxing, for de-stressing, or for meditation, or for sleep, by all means, get this great work. I personally cannot wait for the full eight hour recorded version!
Regarding this recording format: This work is recorded and pressed on the Deutsche Grammofon label. I am of the generation that grew up with records, and that is my preferred format, and I do have to say that DG has not disappointed here, in terms of quality of pressing, and the purity of the vinyl. DG is THE mark of quality when it comes to recordings on vinyl.
If you are not equipped to deal with vinyl, do not let this stop you from purchasing "From Sleep", as it comes in various digital formats; there is also a digital download available when you purchase this in the vinyl format.
Top reviews from other countries
I loved this album, so soothing and calming. It really is a good chillout album. I love listening to it all the time. Will recommend to everyone who loves mellow and calming music.