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Sleep Through this Piece of Classical Music—It’s What the Composer Wants

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Anyone who’s ever dozed in the middle of a concerto will appreciate the sweet sound of this news: A composer has created a piece for doing just that.

British artist Max Richter has written an eight-hour “lullaby” called “SLEEP,” which will stream for free tonight only, beginning at 8 p.m., wherever you are in the world. The digital version will be up for 24 hours, and then available for purchase. Listeners are being encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #OneWorldSleep.

How do you give a live performance of a piece that's meant to facilitate slumber? With beds of course. When "SLEEP" premieres later this fall in Berlin, the audience will listen from the comfort of mattresses from midnight until 8 a.m.

"SLEEP" will be the longest piece of classical music ever recorded and the piece itself is the longest single piece of classical music ever written. An hour-long adaptation will also be released, should someone wish to have a conscious experience engaging with the music.

The piece is scored for piano, strings, vocals and electronics. While writing it, Richter consulted with American neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn about how the brain functions during sleep.

In a teaser for the piece on YouTube, Richter says, "It's a piece of nighttime music and I'm hoping people will actually sleep through it." He goes on to describe it as “an eight hour place to rest.”

The piece originally ran in June 2015.

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How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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