Radio Sleep Concerts

Here is a copy of a memo that Robert sent out to assorted radio stations prior to his 1996 Sleep Concert tour.

I am planning a national tour in September/October 1996, to play Sleep Concerts on radio stations across the country.

Here's some more info about the radio sleep concerts. In the early '80's I used to perform all-night concerts for sleeping audiences, lasting from about 11:00PM to 8:00 AM. I encouraged people to bring sleeping bag and pillow, and fall asleep. The music was extremely quiet and slow-moving, more like a pure atmosphere than what people generally think of as music. It was a mixture of live electronics and taped organic sounds.

I stopped doing these concerts for two basic reasons. First, it was very hard to find good locations, that stayed open all night, were comfortable, and held enough people laying down. Second, the concerts were exhausting to me, and I often got sick afterwards. No fun.

Recently several radio people have been asking me about doing sleep concerts again, but on the radio instead of live. There are a lot of advantages to this: I can prepare some segments in advance, on tape, to give myself breaks from live playing. It's also easier to get up, stretch, jump up and down, etc., without disturbing the audience. Also, listeners can be in the comfort of their own homes. This latter point is also a disadvantage, though, since part of the purpose of the sleep concerts was to transform an environment and create a break from everyday experience. By carefully controlling the acoustics of the performance space, I could achieve some very unusual perceptual effects. Clearly, there will be less control when it comes out over the radio. Oh well...

Another disadvantage to the radio concert is that there won't be any way to sell tickets and offset the expense. Therefore, it might be nice if a small live concert could be organized in conjunction with the radio event (I've been giving small solo piano concerts lately, which are fun for me and easy to organize if there is a good piano handy somewhere, with fewer logistical problems than the electronic concerts.)

I'm not yet sure of the timing for all of this. We're just starting to work all that out, and it's going to depend a lot on radio schedules, college radio school-year considerations, and more. I think either mid-Summer or early Autumn seems most likely. Let me know what works for you!

Thanks, - Robert -