For those in Denmark: Max Richter’s SLEEP film is being screened as part of the CPH:Dox documentary festival this month. We are very happy that the festival team have moved the festival online. For more information click HERE.
Max Richter has contributed to pianist and Beethoven specialist Rudolf Buchbinder’s Diabelli Variations project. The album, to be released in March 2020 on Deutsche Grammophon, includes Buchbinder’s own new interpretation of Beethoven’s Diabelli and the works of 12 contemporary composers including Max Richter. Listen HERE.
I’ve been so taken aback by the responses we received to the call out for readings from the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. THANK YOU. Hundreds of responses in over 30 languages! Many were used in the live shows, more will be used in the final recordings and future shows. My team and I will be back in touch shortly with everyone who participated. Thank you again. -Max.
Director’s Statement – Yulia Mahr
In 2003 Max Richter wrote The Blue Notebooks in reaction to the violence he experienced as a child, and as a protest against the impending Iraq War. In all the years I’ve known him, this drive to talk about the very real and lifelong effects of violence has remained a constant in his work. We are human beings, we stand together, but our common humanity is fragile.
When I was asked to make the video for “Vladimir’s Blues” – one of the pieces that make up The Blue Notebooks – I knew immediately that I wanted the very fabric of the film to reflect Max’s intentions. I have been working with infrared for ten years, and this led me to explore the thermal camera technology used by the military as a way to capture the heart of Max’s work. This is technology developed by weapons contractors to pick up on the infrared radiation emitted by people as well as objects, and commonly used in the Mediterranean and on the Mexican border, or on military aircraft and drones. It’s a technology that by its very nature dehumanises us, and renders us as little more than anonymous heat patterns.
I wondered about these cameras of war and alienation, and whether I could disrupt their intention to create something positive, that speaks very much of individual experience. There is a strange beauty inherent in this imagery, a beauty that is deeply tarnished by associations with migrants hiding, and dying, in refrigerated lorries to evade detection by this very same technology. Would it be possible to claim this imagery for something hopeful, as Max’s music does?
There were challenges. The cameras are unwieldy and cumbersome, often these days used in industrial applications but certainly not meant for creating narrative. They interrupt filming every fifteen seconds or so, there are only two lenses, and the depth of field is minute. One small movement pulls you out of focus. They can see through smoke, fog and haze but they can’t see through glass. They pick up radiation from objects as well as people – everything above absolute zero emits radiation. I had to invent a way to tell a story with them.
Slowly a thing of beauty began to evolve. Most beautiful of all was the discovery that the heat traces we leave as we move around can tell the story of a piece of music and how it unfolds. A legacy that says, “we were here and we count”.
Yulia Mahr, 2020.
Join Max Richter and director Yulia Mahr for a live chat on YouTube prior to the release of their new official music video for Vladimir’s Blues. Set a reminder and learn more about the film HERE.
‘Voices’- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS – AUDIO SUBMISSION
I am working with audio recordings of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in my forthcoming project, and I’m inviting you to participate.
To participate and read step-by-step instructions please click HERE.
The declaration is a milestone document, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, and is available in hundreds of languages and dialects.
Participants are asked to submit audio recordings of 1 – 3 of the specific articles (excluding the preamble) read aloud in their native tongue. Text versions of the declaration, accessible in hundreds of different languages, can be found HERE via the United Nations website.
The submitted audio files can be in any digital audio format including those from mobile phones. (Wav, Mp3, Aiff, etc.)
For more information on the terms and conditions of participation please click HERE.
‘Max Richter’s Sleep’ will have its North American Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2020. Eagle Rock Films are proud to present the documentary from JA Films and Globe Productions, produced by Julie Jakobek, Yulia Mahr, Oualid Mouaness and Stefan Demetriou and directed by Emmy-nominated, award-winning filmmaker Natalie Johns.
The film follows composer and performer Max Richter as he consolidates an ambitious performance of his critically acclaimed eight-hour opus, SLEEP. The film plunges deeply into the artist’s life and process, transcending the work to explore his legacy. Personal reflections from Max Richter, and visual archive from his long-term creative partner, the BAFTA winning filmmaker, Yulia Mahr – the co-architect of SLEEP – help build this intimate portrait – along with contributions that illuminate both the science and story behind the work.
Tickets & Screening Times HERE.
Listen to SLEEP
As part of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s Offscreen Events, Max Richter will perform a 90-minute concert version of this eight-hour opus, SLEEP with the string quintet American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and soprano Grace Davidson. The concert will be followed by a Q&A with Max Richter and filmmaker Natalie Johns.
From SLEEP (90 min. concert version) followed by a Q&A session with Max Richter, Director Natalie Johns, ACME musician Clarice Jensen.
Friday, January 31, 8:00 p.m.
The Shop, 1167 Woodside Ave. – Park City, UT.
Open to Festival credential holders as space allows, first come – first serve.
“I’m very interested in the idea of a piece of music being a place to think.”
Max Richter and ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble at NPR Music in Washington, D.C.
More from NPR HERE.