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Sleep. It's both an oasis where our physical and mental batteries get recharged and a playground for the subconscious. It's also the subject of Max Richter's latest project, SLEEP, which inspired this video by Yulia Mahr.

Trouble Sleeping? A Composer Wants To Help

2 hours ago

British composer Max Richter spent about two years writing and recording a piece of music which, if it's successful, few people will hear in full. It's a composition called SLEEP and it runs eight hours long — the perfect length for a good night's rest. The full version of the piece will be released as a digital album Friday.

There was a clear path laid out for Gary Clark Jr. If he'd wanted, he could have allowed himself to be crowned the young, African-American savior of 21st-century blues guitar.

Yes, this is the Jonas Kaufmann Puccini album that Kaufmann wants you to hear. Last month the opera star took to his Facebook page to discourage fans from purchasing a competing Puccini release newly recycled by his former record company.

It's one thing for Low to have made a rewarding career of spare, dramatic, glacially paced music — for song after slow-moving song to have been constructed out of little more than crystalline guitar lines, minimal bass, maybe a few effects here and there, brushes of snare and the alternating or intertwined voices of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

In the wake of Ben Folds Five's dissolution in 2000, Ben Folds embarked on an assortment of new projects: He's released solo albums and composed for film and TV; he's collaborated with Nick Hornby and William Shatner; he's even served as a judge on TV's The Sing Off, which led to an a cappella record.

Yannick Ilunga, the South African musician who records under the name Petite Noir, was born to a Congolese father and an Angolan mother; as a young child, he was relocated to Cape Town by his parents when the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo deteriorated. But listen to "Freedom," from Ilunga's vigorous debut, La Vie Est Belle, and African music doesn't spring to mind.

It's too soon to tell whether Outskirts Of Love is the end of a trilogy or simply the next chapter in an ongoing saga. All we know for sure is that it's the third album to find Shemekia Copeland extending her definition of modern blues to include a sort of pan-Americana approach. Her first few records hewed closer to contemporary blues, but since 2009's portentously titled Never Going Back, the daughter of the late Texas blues-guitar titan Johnny Clyde Copeland has been moving in a wider world.

Soul singer Lizz Wright is starting over. Her new album, Freedom & Surrender, comes after a tough few years, during which she left behind a failed marriage and her own expectations about starting a family. And yet, she found a creative spark in that loss, along with a new kind of voice.

Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, has died at age 84. In addition to his film work, Jones played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company in 1970.

Jones died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to his publicist, Richard Hoffman. The cause of death is reportedly related to Parkinson's disease.

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