Max Richter’s ‘Journey (CP1919)’ – commissioned especially for the Aurora Orchestra’s project and album ‘Music of the Spheres’ is inspired by the discovery of the first pulsar star, CP1919. Richter’s ‘Journey’, uses rhythms governed by the same ratios used by ancient astronomers to describe the orbits of the planets and – inspired by Aurora’s “by heart” projects – Richter created it to be performed by players from memory. ‘Journey (CP1919)’ Listen HERE from Deutsche Grammophon.
The American-Italian drama My Brilliant Friend returns to HBO with the long-awaited second season –The Story of a New Name, based on the second book of Elena Ferrante’s bestselling book series, The Neapolitan Novels.
Following the success of Max Richter’s first season soundtrack, Deutsche Grammophon has released the soundtrack to the second season, available HERE.
Now that more and more of us are required to isolate at home, many people are finding they have time to play the piano, so I’m going to be making some of my sheet music available for free download HERE. The first piece is A Catalogue of Afternoons, and will be available for the next two weeks.
Feel free to post and tag any videos of your playing, and please stay safe!
Thank you all so much for listening to the SLEEP broadcasts over the weekend. It’s been a special moment for me to experience the music as a listener with you as it has made its way across Europe and further afield. Wishing us all strength and patience.
For those who missed the broadcast, you can listen to SLEEP HERE.
The 8 hour performance of Max Richter’s SLEEP will be broadcast on radio stations across the globe this Easter weekend. The radio broadcast is taken from the 2015 live London performance for BBC Radio 3. For a current list of broadcast information please click HERE.
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.