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BBC Radio 3 creates two new World Records

BBC Radio 3 has established two new Guinness World Records with the world premiere live broadcast of Max Richter’s SLEEP live from Wellcome Collection.

Over the weekend, the station created the two world record titles with the world premiere live broadcast of Max Richter’s SLEEP live from Wellcome Collection. The broadcast now holds two brand new world records for the longest broadcast of a single piece of music and longest live broadcast of a single piece of music, certified by Guinness World Records.

Composer Max Richter, together with a small ensemble of musicians and a singer, performed his new piece SLEEP, a ‘lullaby for a frenetic world’ throughout the night for eight continuous hours. Performing in the Reading Room at Wellcome Collection to a slumbering audience in camp beds for the first time, SLEEP was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 to sleeping listeners across the country.

Composed in consultation with American neuroscientist David Eagleman, the piece is meant to be heard whilst sleeping and is thought to be one of the longest single pieces of music ever recorded. The broadcast of SLEEP formed part of BBC Radio 3 and Wellcome Collection’s Why Music? weekend, a series of programmes with leading scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists investigating what makes music part of being human.

BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey said: “BBC Radio 3 is not afraid to be bold and distinctive in the way it presents new music. To establish two new world records with one broadcast overnight is a shining example of what makes us so unique. It’s rare a controller wills his audience to sleep, but I hope Radio 3 listeners enjoyed slowing down to Max Richter’s SLEEP. I’m keen for BBC Radio 3 to continue to explore its ‘slow radio’ credentials, with our broadcasts of full length music and drama offering audiences time out to experience and consider works of art properly in this frenetic world. I’m grateful to Max Richter for working with us on this great project.”

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