“Max Richter’s Sleep”
Director Natalie Johns
UK, U.S., 2019, 99 min
In 2015, the world-famous composer Max Richter surprised his audience with the ambitious work Sleep. The eight-hour opus, a kind of experiment, explores the relationship between music and consciousness, tests the barely perceptible boundaries of wakefulness and sleep, and invites listeners to take a meditative break. The piece was played in full on BBC Radio 3 in September 2015, attracting a lot of attention and becoming the longest-ever live broadcast of a single work by a radio station. Concerts in Europe’s famous concert halls and in Australia culminated in large-scale open-air concerts in Los Angeles in July 2018. The performances for the 560 listeners relaxing in beds in Grand Park, in the heart of the metropolis, began at midnight and lasted until sunrise. The music documentary “Max Richter’s Sleep” takes the viewer on a dream-like trip with Richter, his wife and creative partner Yulia Mahr, and people who share their special listening experiences. With Los Angeles as the central location, we look back at the history of the Sleep project, with the help of Yulia Mahr’s private archive and Richter’s thoughts on the message of the work for people struggling with today’s breakneck speed. The director of the film Natalie Johns has managed to capture the atmosphere of an immediate musical experience and peek behind the curtain at the joy and sacrifices of two bright creative personalities.
See the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRlH60JX2Hs