Max Richter performs his 8-hour composition on BBC Radio.
The renowned contemporary classical composer released his new album Sleep earlier this month, a piece described by Richter as “an eight-hour lullaby… my personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence.”
This weekend Richter performed Sleep live at the Reading Room at London’s Wellcome Centre, with audience members given beds instead of seats and encouraged to sleep through the eight-hour nighttime broadcast. The performance set two Guinness World Records: one for the longest broadcast of a single piece of music, and one for the longest live broadcast of a single piece of music.
“It’s really an experiment to try and understand how we experience music in different states of consciousness,” said Richter. “Sleeping is one of the most important things we all do,” he says. “We spend a third of our lives asleep and it’s always been one of my favourite things, ever since I was a child.” The album was made after consultation with American neuroscientist David Eagleman, who taught Richter more about how the human brain functions while sleeping.
Listen back to the entire performance here and hear audience feedback on the broadcast below.