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To Sleep - World Premiere


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TO SLEEP is going to be the second longest continuous piece of music to ever be performed anywhere (after Organ²/ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible by John Cage which is scheduled to last 639 years!). Also, this live performance will be the first “sleep concert” to take place in New Zealand. While this concert format has been explored in the US, as well as through the touring work of Max Richter with his “SLEEP” project, this local interpretation presents an entirely new sonic and visual experience for sleeping.
Hamilton-based contemporary composer/performers Jeremy Mayall and Kent Macpherson have been building a strong collaborative process since Mayall’s return to Hamilton in 2016. Their recent musical collaborations have moved through uptempo popular music, experimental dub and electronica, cinematic soundscapes, and the minimalist ambient long form electronica of ‘DR. MESMER’S PRIVATE ARMY’. Their collective approach to music making really exists in the colour of sound, the magic of the moment where, inspired by space and time, fleeting ideas can create new compositions based around musical fragments and field recordings.
TO SLEEP is an experiment. It is an exploration of music’s capacity to induce meditative, otherworldly and perhaps even psychedelic states, through the process of a communal nights sleep. Drawing primary inspiration from reading about the ambient ‘happenings’ of Robert Rich in California in the 1980s - these were immersive all-night shows, performed to sleeping audiences, that stretched the definition of a ‘concert’ beyond all familiar limits. These much-mythologised happenings are part physical experience, part community intervention, part scientific experiment, part mystic ritual.
Macpherson and Mayall, along with cellist Yotam Levy will perform a synthesis of found sound, prepared drones, and live instrumental playing. The focus of the event is around everything being very slow. Anything resembling a melody might unfold over a half an hour or so. The concentration is really one of subtlety, slowness, extremely drawn out transitions, and exploring an unfolding sense of continuity. The intention with TO SLEEP is to explore the liminal zone between sleep and wakefulness. When the music is paired with live visual art by Paul Bradley and lighting by Aaron Chesham, the entire experience aims to become linked with our own sense of consciousness. Creating a space where the audience can guide themselves into a state of half-sleep and notice the way that their brains shift perceptions into an internal world.
Through deconstructing the conventions of traditional compositional and performative approaches, TO SLEEP will explore the potential for dreamlike experiences between the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states - the technical words for when you’re going into sleep and out of sleep. This is a 9 hour long form musical composition within which different ideas, textures, fragments, themes and variations will be woven in what essentially becomes an endurance performance event! The performers work hard to make the audience feel relaxed, and allow themselves to become part of the immersive multimedia journey.
Mayall has composed a structural guide to shape the 9hour composition as built and developed by the performers.

Item Type: Performance
Uncontrolled Keywords: performance, music, multimedia, sleep, Ambient, improvised, experimental, music, audio-visual, electronic, sleep, concert,
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Jeremy Mayall
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 20:02
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:31

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