Max Richter has announced his new album ‘VOICES’, an ambitious project that features what’s described as an “upside-down orchestra” and hundreds of people reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in over 70 languages.
Richter crowd-sourced the vocals by asking for fan submissions, while the orchestra is “upside-down” because of the number of each instrument featured – twelve double basses, 24 cellos, 6 violas, 8 violins and a harp. The album is released on July 31.
The first music from the new album, released which was premiered live at a performance at London’s Barbican Centre in February, comes in the form of ‘All Human Beings’, which you can hear below alongside a video directed by Yulia Mahr.
“The opening words of the declaration, drafted in 1948, are ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. These inspiring words are a guiding principle for the whole declaration but, looking around at the world we have made in the decades since they were written, it is clear that we have forgotten them,” Richter said.
“The recent brutal events in the US, leading to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other abuses around the world, are proof of that. At such times it is easy to feel hopeless but, just as the problems of our world are of our own making, so the solutions can be.
“While the past is fixed, the future is yet unwritten, and the declaration sets out an uplifting vision of a better and fairer world that is within our reach if we choose it. ‘VOICES’ is a musical space to reconnect with these inspiring principles and Yulia Mahr’s striking film depicts this inspiration in a beautiful way, while offering a glimpse into her full length film of our project to come.”
It will be Richter’s first album of new material since his score for sci-fi blockbuster Ad Astra last year.