Max Richter is one of the most influential musical voices in the world today. The composer has moved and enthralled millions worldwide with groundbreaking works such as “SLEEP, Vivaldi Recomposed” and, most recently, “Voices“, inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as with his acclaimed soundtracks for film and television. On his new album, “Exiles“, he again applies his thoughtful, inspirational approach to some of the major issues of our day.
“Exiles” began in hope with the Arab Spring ten years ago. Profoundly moved by the tragedy of the migration crisis, Richter chose to channel his compassion into a ballet score of that name for the Nederlands Dans Theater and its resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. “Composing is a way to talk about the things I care about,” explains Richter.
Also featuring brand-new orchestral versions of some of his best-known earlier works, the album was recorded in Tallinn in 2019 by Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, an orchestra that prides itself on fostering cross-border unity and artistic innovation.
“Music has an intrinsic voice in culture,” says Richter. It’s part of the conversation about how we should live. That’s what creativity is. When you make something, you’re trying to explore a question, or look at some aspect of our world and comment on it, or elicit thinking or debate. It’s like Nina Simone said: ‘An artist’s duty … is to reflect the times.’”
And that’s exactly what the composer has done throughout his career, conveying thought-provoking messages in music of depth and beauty.