Max Richter: November

November is the ninth track on Max Richter’s 2002 debut album, Memoryhouse. Words like “neoclassical” and “post-minimalist” have been used to describe the German-born British composer’s music. It blends elements of contemporary classical music (Richter studied with the Italian experimentalist Luciano Berio) with electronic and pop influences. The result is a slowly-developing ambient sound world which draws on the diverse sounds of the twenty-first century.

Richter has produced numerous film and television scores. Here is a contemplative excerpt from his music for the television series, Black Mirror. As with the meditative minimalism of Arvo Pärt, it’s music which offers a serene respite from an over-saturated, “data-driven” world. Much of Richter’s concert music feels influenced by the numb, out-of-body experience of television and film. Instead of linear movement towards a goal, we feel as if we’re looking at the same image from different angles with multiple camera techniques…long shot…surveying pan…slow motion.

November‘s unrelenting violin bariolage line seems to pay homage to the broken chords of Philip Glass:

A concert performance of Memoryhouse will take place on November 23 in Leipzig.

Additional Recordings

  • Listen to the complete Memoryhouse album here. iTunes
  • Max Richter’s complete discography iTunes
  • I included Max Richter’s Recomposed Four Seasons (2012) in this past Listeners’ Club post.
  • Richter talks about the music of Black Mirror in this Atlantic interview, published yesterday.

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