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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Max Richter Unleashes A Musical Message Of Hope & Reflection To Complement Recording Project Inspired By The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Max Richter stands as one of the most prodigious figures on the contemporary music scene. From synthesizers and computers to a full symphony orchestra, Richter's innovative work encompasses solo albums, ballets, concert hall performances, film and TV series, video art installations and theatre works. 

Richter writes beautifully crafted, intelligent work that is disarming in its honesty; his music, despite its underlying sophistication, remains accessible to all. 

Now comes Origins, the third single from his forthcoming album release Voices - a major new recording project inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

At the core of the single is a profound sense of unified community. In a time of dramatic change, Origins seeks to offer a clear musical message of hope and reflection. 

For the project, Richter crowd-sourced multiple readings of the Declaration in different languages. He received hundreds of submissions in over seventy languages. 

These readings form the aural landscape of Origins: they are the voices of the album title. 


It was important to Richter that these voixes were real people, not actors. The result is incredibly powerful and moving.

Max said: "At such times it is easy to feel hopeless but just as the problems of our world are of our own making, so the solutions can be. 

"While the past is fixed, the future is yet unwritten, and the Declaration sets out an uplifting vision of a better and fairer world that is within our reach if we choose."

For his last single, award-winning artist filmmaker Yulia Mahr created the video for Mercy.

The film is an artistic response to our turbulent times and the human potential for compassion. 

At the heart of Voices is a profound sense of global community, born out of Richter and Mahr's career-long stance that creativity can play an activist role in our world. 

In the video, Mahr poignantly shines a light on our inner lives and leans on her own experiences.

Yulia Mahr said:

"Mercy concentrates on our inner lives and the children we once were; every child in the video is a memory. 

"The train is for me symbolic of the journey we are all on and works as a framing device to carry these stories. 


"I made a decision early on not to concentrate on the atrocities which continue daily to infringe on human rights and basic dignity around the world, but to focus the film on the human potential for compassion that these memories display.

"I took inspiration from my own memories of arriving in the UK aged seven, completely at sea in this new world. It all has such a dreamlike quality now."

As the sole producer, director, writer and editor, Mahr likens her solitary filmmaking practice to literary creation. 

Working exclusively with pre-existing footage (archive, library, found and stock clips), Mahr works with images as a poet does with words. 


Yulia added:

"I like the ecology of using found objects. I like the light environmental footprint that this creative process leaves. 

"I'm always drawn to the way these images continue to carry their histories inside them while taking on new meaning by being juxtaposed against something unexpected.   

"I enjoy the discarding of filmic conventions, and the perspective I gain from my use of found footage also allows me the freedom to do that.  

"In a way, lockdown was perfect for me. I don't think anyone would have financed this kind of one-woman visual poetry before but under lockdown, all the rules changed."

Mercy is the second video created by Mahr for Voices, following on from All Human Beings, and part of a longer project that's a visual accompaniment to the music.

Richter and Mahr have worked together for over twenty-fiveyears as part of Studio Richter Mahr, a collaborative home for their creative projects. 

At its core is the belief that creativity exists as a social project that can illuminate the lives of individuals and society as a whole, and that art exists beyond all boundaries.

Max Richter's Voices is released on 31st July 2020. For more info CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley




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