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Max Richter observed ‘The Leftovers’ Sudden Departure Day at Town Hall (pics)

I became familiar with Max Richter‘s work through HBO’s The Leftovers, but I didn’t begin to follow him until his piece “On the Nature of Daylight” opened the 2016 film Arrival (I initially mistook it for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s work given I knew the late Icelandic composer had created the new score for the film). Richter is a prolific composer; while scoring the three seasons of The Leftovers, he’s found time to do soundtracks for film and TV (including Black Mirror, Taboo, and White Boy Rick) and new works like Three Worlds. That’s even excluding the eight-hour Sleep which had overnight performances in NYC earlier this year (beds for the overnight stay were including in the ticket price).

On Sunday, October 14 at Town Hall in NYC, Max performed his Leftovers score with American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). That date is significant to the show, as 10/14/2011 is “Sudden Departure Day” when 2% of the earth’s population vanished with no explanation. As a nod to the series’ chain-smoking, silent “Guilty Remnant” society, some attendees wore all white, and Town Hall passed out fake cigarettes at intermission.

Richter introduced the show noting they would perform his 2010 work Infra for the first set and return to perform The Leftovers after an intermission. For the encore, they performed “In the Garden” and “On the Nature of Daylight” (the latter, originally from The Blue Notebooks). It was a stunning and devastating performance. Pictures from Town Hall are in the gallery above.

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