Flying in to Sydney from London is the perfect way to prepare for performing Sleep, according to British composer Max Richter. The work, designed to be listened to while sleeping, is a marathon eight-and-a-half hours long and will be played through the night to a live (if drowsy) audience in the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid Festival.

Richter is planning to harness his jetlag to get through the performance. “I’m going to try and stay on UK time,” he says, “You know, just ignore everything that’s going on around me and pretend it’s day time. When we did the performances in Berlin, I spent a couple of days getting into the right time zone – it’s a big commitment – so coming in from London is, in a way, the ideal preparation.”

Max Richter

Richter describes his work as “a personal lullaby for a frenetic world” and it is an idea that he has been developing for some time, with sketches dating back to 1995. “When I first started thinking about the piece, I had some intuitive assumptions as to the kind of music that would be useful...