Musicians perform concert to send audience to sleep

30 May 2014, 13:19 | Updated: 28 July 2014, 13:36

Pyjama-clad musicians are planning on lulling their audience to sleep with a selection of classical music, sounds and poetry.

Nodding off mid-performance may be every music lover's nightmare - but a classical trio are actually hoping to send their audience to sleep at a free concert in Wiltshire tonight.

The performers, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, singer Joanna Wallfisch and sound artist Teemu Korpipaa, have written the piece especially to encourage the audience to drift off, including poetry, music, birdsong and the sound of storms in a sound installation designed to evoke nostalgia and relaxation. If the music alone isn't enough, the performers plan to lull the audience to sleep with their choice of concert attire: all three of them will be wearing pyjamas for the hour-long installation.

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Speaking to Classic FM, Wallfisch explained the music was designed to encourage audience members to respond to the music in whatever way they feel is appropriate - even if that means nodding off during the performance.

"If anyone can't help but nod off that's fine, we'd encourage that," she said. "It would be the equivalent of bringing someone to tears because they were so moved by the performance: it's a natural response to the music.

"I think what will probably happen will be that we inspire the audience's imagination and a create sense of nostalgia. When you're dreaming and sleeping, your memories start twisting and turning into a new dimension - and that's the concept we're trying to evoke here."

Festival director Toby Smith said: "The thought of nodding off in a concert is something that I think most of us fear, but in this case the more people who fall asleep by the end, the more successful the performance will have been."

He added: "This audience will be given a unique artistic experience that they'll never forget... until they hopefully fall asleep."

The work, unsurprisingly titled 'Sleep', is described by Kuusisto as "the kind of music between regular music and wallpaper, or lighting, or perfume." It premieres this evening at Salisbury International Arts Festival alongside poetry by Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, and music influenced by the Beach Boys.