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Max Richter, on the piano, and The Max  Richter Eensemble, 2016

On 8 July Madrileños are in for a unique soporific experience logging out of the
frenetic world into a concert made to be enjoyed literally on one’s
back instead of sitting down or on one’s feet!

By Rose Maramba

Madrid is the place to sleep in on 8 July 2017 lulled happily serene by the post-minimalist neo-classical music of German-born British composer Max Richter into gentle slumber during a live concert. The concert is Sleep, the critically acclaimed “eight-hour lullaby” which, according to Richter, is “meant to be listened to at night.”

A Sleep concert is readied

Sleep was first released as an album on 4 September 2015 and performed live on 27 September in the Reading Room at London’s Wellcome Collection from midnight to 8:00 a.m. For those who couldn’t attend the concert BBC broadcast the concert live on Radio 3. Which broadcast broke a number of records among which were the longest live broadcast of a single piece of music on BBC Radio 3, and the Guinness World Records’ longest broadcast, as well the longest live broadcast,  of a single piece of music.

The ensemble led by Richter (piano and electronics) was made of Grace Davidson (soprano), Reiad Chibah (viola), Natalia Bonner and Steve Morris (violins), and Ian Burdge and Chris Worsey (cellos).

Madrileños could expect a unique soporific experience logging out of the frenetic world into a concert made to be enjoyed literally on one’s back – in bed or sleeping bag – instead of sitting down or on one’s feet! The low humming sound of the bass, the soothing cadences of piano and strings, and the soft vocals all fuse into what Richter calls a “voyage of discovery”.

“The piece is to be slept through,” he says. “It is a lullaby, but it is also an experiment in the way that music and [a different state of] consciousness can connect ” to each other.

Just before the lullaby, 2016

While working on Sleep Richter, an influential figure in the meeting of contemporary classical and alternative popular musical styles since the early 2000s, consulted with American neuroscientist David Eagleman in order to learn how the brain functions during sleep.

“Sleeping in one of the most important things we all do. . .We spend a third of our lives asleep and it’s always been one of my favorite things, ever since I was a child,” 51-year old Richter confesses. “For some, Sleep is an attempt to see how the space when your conscious mind is on holiday can be a place for music to live.”

There’s great expectation surrounding Sleep’s first ever, and so far the only, concert in Spain. So much so that by the time this article is published, the show may well be totally sold out. Check it out here .

La Nave
Calle Cifuentes 5, Villaverde, Madrid
Metro: Line 3, Villaverde Bajo Cruce station
Buses: 18, 22,59, 79, 85, 86, 116, 123, 130, N13, N14



Sources: Veranos de la Villa 2017 (, Wikipedia, etc.

Featured image/Mangtronix, CC BY-SA2.0
First inline pic/Mangtronix, CC BY-SA2.0
Second inline pic/ Alper Çugun, CC BY 2.0
La Nave, Fair Use