Ongoing History Daily: Sleep concerts

Chances are you’ve been to some pretty boring concerts in your life, but have you ever been to a show where the goal has been to put the audience to sleep?  You have if you’ve ever paid to see a dude named Robert Rich. 

Rich specialized in a form of ambient electronica designed to…well, put you in a sleep-like state.  He used a mix of electronic keyboards and real-world sounds to induce a hypnotic effect in the audience.  Back in the 80s, he used to give something called all-night “sleep concerts” in places like San Francisco where audiences were instructed to bring pillows and sleeping bags.  As they drifted along with the music, Rich’s goal was to take people in and out of the various sensations that exist between wakefulness and sleep. 

And yes, Robert Rich releases CDs.  They’re very relaxing.  Just don’t use them while driving.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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