When your friend turns to you and says the most annoying of conversation openers:
“I had the strangest dream last night…”
we all know it’s the cue for us to glaze over, put on a brave face of mild interest, while furtively dreaming behind our open eyes of what’s for dinner. But how about this: two years of rigorous dream journaling, narrowed down to the top 3 best dreams, then turned into poetry, then turned into music, and then performed by a 28-person classical choir and trio of jazz musicians…
Maybe you’re listening now?
The idea behind this concert came from something very personal to me: I kept a dream journal every day for two years. For any of you out there who have trouble recalling your dreams, it only takes one remembered dream to start a dream journal. Writing down one dream dramatically increases the chances that you will remember the following night’s dreams. After a certain point I was so good at it, I could recall two or three dreams a night!
Needless to say this provided ample material for boring my friends, captivating my psychoanalyst, and inspiring my artwork. Cliché conversation starters aside, there is something in the act of dreaming that connects us. We bond over topics that we share, and I like to explore that through Spectrum Music’s programming.
So what were the 3 dreams that made the cut? The selection process itself was the most challenging part. Most of my dreams were disorienting or anxiety-filled and many others were simply not fit for public exhibition. Choosing a nightmare for the final movement was the easiest: I walk into a support group meeting for people who eat their own hair. When beckoned by the group (“We’re waiting for you”), I try to explain that they are mistaken, only to find that I cannot speak due to a mouth and throat-full of my hair! For the opening movement, I chose an eerie Kafka-esque number in which a mysterious company has come to collect me for an ominous “service” that I unwittingly signed up for as a teenager. But the key to a good piece is contrast, and in my slew of strange, dark dreams I needed to find a suitable middle movement. I finally came across one of my shorter entries, in which I describe a room; a comfortable room of my own that made me feel content and at peace.