Have you picked up your copy of the Complete VOICES yet? Parts 1 & 2 of the project are now available in all good record shops or on your digital music service of choice.
BAFTA-winning artist and filmmaker Yulia Mahr reveals her new video for Prelude 2 the third single from VOICES 2.
The ‘Prelude 2’ video is an artistic response to our turbulent times and highlights the plight of refugees. According to the United Nations, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have drowned in the past seven years trying to cross the Mediterranean. Many people including women and children, lost their lives while trying to escape persecution and poverty.
The inherent beauty in Mahr’s imagery is contrasted with harsh brutality of war and global turmoil. The film also is a metaphor for the sensation of drowning that people feel when overwhelmed. Despite its sombre mood, positivity runs throughout: a sense of potential in a future as yet unwritten, with a younger, activist generation emerging.
Yulia Mahr said “When I was a little child I almost drowned, saved at the very last moment by my mother. I still remember the sensation so vividly – it was hazy and dreamy and the seconds went by in slow motion. I wasn’t panicking but it was totally overwhelming – a feeling of the inevitable unfolding. I’ve tried to bring something of the memory of those moments to this video. And my own sense of the power of that, in juxtaposition to the amniotic fluid that gives us life.”
The powerful themes of humanitarianism running through VOICES and single Prelude 2 were informed by Yulia’s own upbringing. She was born in Hungary. At the time, under communism, most women had to work and so Yulia was, in those early years, raised largely by her Grandmother.
Her Grandmother had been a simultaneous translator between five languages . Herself a refugee during the Second World War, who had escaped to Chile – she had worked with and befriended Allende, Neruda and Che Guevara. She raised Yulia in Budapest and her deep humanitarianism and warmth fed the inspiration for VOICES.
When Yulia was seven, she and her mother fled Budapest. They arrived in the UK. Her mother, intent on getting a university education, put herself through college in her mid thirties. They found a place to live by answering an ad in Time Out for a single mother who was either a refugee or migrant that needed a place to live.
She explains, “I was born in Hungary at a time when it was a Communist country. I have such vivid memories of our street, where the buildings were still peppered with bullet holes from the revolution in 56, and where some were still in ruins from World War Two.
In those days each person was allocated a certain predetermined amount of living space, so every flat would contain multiple generations or sometimes even different families. I lived with my great grandfather, my grandmother, aunts, father and mother in three rooms.
My grandmother had fled persecution by the Nazis to the safety of Chile for 20 years – and so in the confines of our flat I was raised on stories of escape, persecution, community and hope. My grandmother remained a humanitarian throughout her life – helping refugees and being part of an international movement towards peace.
In the end my own convoluted story saw my mother and I replicating the large scale migrations of the 20th century and I arrived in the UK – lonely, confused and desperate for security.
While I could rarely see my grandmother after that – her spirit has never left me and it is this spirit that informed the conception and writing of VOICES.”
VOICES 2 follows directly from its first part, the soundtrack to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Order your copy here.
The second album in the pioneering audio-visual Voices project, co-created by Max Richter & Yulia Mahr, arrives in record shops and onto digital music services on 9 April 2021.
VOICES was inspired by, and features text adapted from, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. VOICES 2 follows directly from the first part, embodying the Universal Declaration’s aspiration to build a better and fairer world. T
he message at the core of Max Richter’s Voices 2 is one of hope. The music, and the video for the debut single ‘Mirrors’, invites us to take a breather from the rolling news agenda and to reflect instead on the aspirations in the Universal Declaration.
Positivity and a sense of potential in a hopeful new future, runs throughout VOICES 2. Yulia Mahr, Max Richter’s filmmaker and visual-artist partner, captures the image of rejuvenation in her video for ‘Mirrors’ as flowers bloom.
Yulia Mahr on ‘Mirrors’: “For all its challenges, this moment also offers us an opportunity to build anew; rather than just restarting the old world, we can invent a new one. Therefore, I have made my first film for the second part of Voices a hopeful one. The flowers are all negative versions of themselves – out of the negative, out of the dark and disconcerting – can be born a future that is full of beauty and the positive. It’s hard to see it still, but it’s potentially there. History is not inevitable. If we come together, we can create a kinder world.”
Max Richter: “There are always opportunities for new beginnings. And that’s one of the things that’s so hopeful about that text. It lays out a very fundamental and simple set of principles, which are completely available to us at all times, but we do have to choose them. That’s the challenge, isn’t it?”
1 HOUR SLEEP FOR WORLD SLEEP DAY 2021
Max Richter & Yulia Mahr invite you, your colleagues, family, and friends to pause and step into the SLEEP universe for one hour this #WorldSleepDay (Friday 19th March).
Open your calendar and block out 60 minutes for yourself. Download the free SLEEP app to experience a special one hour collective moment of meditative reflection, taken from the 8.5 hour lullaby.
You can learn a little more and RSVP on Facebook here.
“Five years ago I wrote SLEEP as an invitation to pause our busy lives for a moment. Now we are all facing an unexpected and unwelcome pause. It is far from easy to adjust to this new normal, which daily brings fresh anxiety and suffering to our communities, to those we love, and to ourselves. At this time the magical ability of creativity to elevate our days and to connect us with one another is more valuable than ever.” – Max Richter
40 radio stations around the world will now broadcast the performance of Max Richter and Yulia Mahr’s VOICES, which soundtracks the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
WNYC in the US, MDR in Germany, and GPB in Georgia are three of the new additions.
There are also a few last minute changes to the schedule. CLICK HERE for full details.
If there is not a local station in your country, you can listen via the BBC website for 30 days after broadcast and read more about the performance here.
To: Everyone It Concerns
From: Max Richter & Yulia Mahr
As this tumultuous year draws to a close, I would like one hour of your time to:
1) explore The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2) spend a few minutes using your platform to support the United Nations’ #HumanRightsDay, which takes place on Thursday December 10th 2020.
When I began composing VOICES ten years ago, the world was a very different place.
The opening words of the declaration, read by Eleanor Roosevelt at the start of the record, set the tone for this transformative text that is so crucially relevant in these strange times.
This call for dignity, liberty, and equality for all has never felt more vivid and vital than in 2020.
Article 1 begins “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
If all you do after reading this email is to post that line ahead of #HumanRightsDay and share this important reminder to your followers, thank you.
However, if hearing or (re)reading the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights resonates with you, please consider spending at least one minute filming yourself reading a passage, perhaps one that you feel may “hit different” in your voice… and sharing it online.
My team are calling this the #VoicesChallenge and if it’s helpful, they have written this suggested copy to accompany your video. Please amend or remix however you see fit or write your own.
Suggested copy for Instagram and Facebook:
Max Richter invited me to take part in the #VoicesChallenge ahead of #HumanRightsDay on December 10th.
I listened to his record, Voices, and this section of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights really resonated with me. I challenge you, as well as @… and @…. to do the same. | @unitednationshumanrights @MaxRichterMusic
I listened to @maxrichtermusic’s Voices, and this section of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights really resonated with me.
⚖️ I challenge you, as well as @… and @… to do the same.
#VoicesChallenge | @UNHumanRights | #HumanRightsDay (Dec 10th)
Alternatively, you could go live on your social platform of choice and simply begin reading…
You can listen to Voices with my slightly updated version of the declaration performed live on 37+ radio stations including BBC Radio 3 on December 10th from 7:30pm GMT or find it now on your streaming service of choice:
You can read the original text here:
On behalf of all of us who are working on this project, thank you for your time.
Max & Yulia
WORLDWIDE RADIO BROADCAST OF VOICES ON #HUMANRIGHTSDAY
BBC Radio 3 will bring together 37 radio stations across the world on Thursday 10th December for a performance of VOICES.
“In these strange and challenging times it is more important than ever to keep the music playing and the message of the Universal Declaration alive.”
— Max Richter and Yulia Mahr
Tickets are now on sale for the UK film premiere including an exclusive Q&A with Max Richter & Yulia Mahr on 8 September.
This breathtaking film follows acclaimed composer and musician Max Richter and his creative partner, artist and BAFTA winning filmmaker Yulia Mahr, as they navigate an ambitious performance of his celebrated 8-hour opus Sleep at an open-air concert in Los Angeles. Emmy-nominated director Natalie Johns weaves in Mahr’s personal archive and performance footage from Berlin, Sydney, and Paris to create a rich portrait of a shared artistic process, along with contributions that illuminate both the science and story behind the work.
If your local cinema is not listed, please keep an eye on the film’s official website as more cinemas will be confirmed over the coming weeks.
In this challenging time, I’ve composed VOICES as a place to reflect on the world we have made, and on the world we want to make. Listen to VOICES HERE.
Mercy, written ten years ago for Hilary Hahn, and played here so beautifully by Mari Samuelsen, was the starting point for the whole of VOICES. Over the years of working on the project, the music has taken many forms, nearly all of them put to one side, but the music of Mercy has always been a sort of pole star, guiding the rest of the piece. Yulia’s stunning film places the question of mercy and compassion firmly into our everyday world. We are all in this together. -m
Listen to Mercy HERE
VOICES is out in its entirety on July 31st.