Max Richter – from Sleep – Album Review by Killian Laher
Max Richter has been releasing fine instrumental music for 13 years or so. His latest, based around the concept of sleep, has been released in an eight hour version, an attempt to replicate a night’s sleep, and also this more approachable one hour version, a sort of “best of” the eight hour version. For those familiar with Richter’s music they will be on comfortable ground here from the piano and plaintive cello of opening track Dream 3. Like the rest of the album, it’s very relaxing and soothing. Grace Davidson’s wordless vocals introduce Path 5, and she is joined by church-like organ, giving the track an almost funereal effect.
Space 11 acts as a somewhat dark palate-cleanser before the gorgeous piano of Dream 13. This piece is possibly the most evocative thing here, with its sweeping strings hinting at rolling skies, or tranquil lakes, just drifting solemnly by. Path 19 replaces Davidson’s vocals with a fine violin, while Dream 8 reintroduces them, drawing on the earlier Dream pieces but with a greater sense of finality (perhaps the dream just prior to waking up).
It’s not an album with an immediate pay-off, taking several listens to register in your brain. Perhaps this is the natural destination that Richter has been heading towards with his previous music. Exquisitely pretty, almost spiritual music.
1. Dream 3 (in the midst of my life)
2. Path 5 (delta)
3. Space 11 (invisible pages over)
4. Dream 13 (minus even)
5. Space 21 (petrichor)
6. Path 19 (yet frailest)
7. Dream 8 (late and soon)