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Forget traditional concert chairs. Composer Max Richter’s unique concert, fittingly called SLEEP, has attendees listen on mattresses and immerse themselves in an overnight show intended to induce active, healthful sleep. The show just debuted in the U.S. at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and was made possible thanks to their premiere sponsor Beautyrest®. The show began on March 12th, and yes, ended the morning of March 13th.

To celebrate World Sleep Day this Friday, March 16th, you’ll be able to experience SLEEP, too. It will be released by the German classical music record label Deutsche Grammophon and distributed by Verve Label Group (VLG) so you can stream it online. 

SLEEP was first released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2015. Since then, it’s been performed across Europe: Berlin, London, Sydney, Madrid, Zurich, Paris, and Amsterdam.

The eight-hour long piece, featuring piano, strings, and vocals fused with electronics, was composed by Max Richter with help from U.S. neurologist David Eagleman. The two joined forces to create a piece that discovers how music affects the subconscious mind. So yes, this concert is intended to actually send its listener to sleep. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “the music is at times so soft and trance-inducing that you can’t help but slip into a relaxed state.”

SXSW concert-goer Mark Webb actually just wrote about his experience. By 7:14 am, nearing the end of the show, he explains: “The ambient tones against which I’d struggled to keep my head above water, the string quintet that had enchanted me out of my waking mind like five Pied Pipers: It was all a tide you really couldn’t beat back. And perhaps you shouldn’t have tried.”

4:00 a.m. – SLEEP at @sxsw

A post shared by Max Richter (@maxrichtermusic) on

What makes SLEEP and its SXSW partnership with Beautyrest especially interesting is how it combines the sleep innovation of both the concert itself and Beautyrest products. Warren Kornblum, Chief Marketing Officer at Serta Simmons Bedding (who owns Beautyrest) explains how sleep can actually be an active state, where “we restore and repair our bodies overnight in order to reach our full potential tomorrow.” Coupled with SLEEP’s exploration of how sound and tone interventions bring people into a deeper stage of sleep, this partnership has great snooze synergy.

Stay tuned for its digital release this Friday for World Sleep Day, and discover the experience for yourself! Happy listening and sweet dreams.

Featured image courtesy of @beautyrest on Instagram

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Laura Schwecherl

Laura Schwecherl

Laura is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Uncharted, a social impact organization that is coming up with a new methodology for solving some of the world's most pressing problems. Prior, Laura led marketing at the global health organization Possible, managing a team in New York City and South Asia to help improve access to healthcare in remote areas of Nepal. Outside of work, you can find her reading Murakami novels, writing amateur poetry, or trail running in her hometown, Boulder Colorado.

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