The space between dreams and dreaming

Last night I had a weird dream involving a concert in a Camden Town sari shop, a trio of mandolin-playing paupers, and an elderly deaf violinist (actually one of my neighbours, who is deaf but certainly no musician) performing my piece for piano and electronics. My dreaming self was vaguely concerned at his inability to hear the electronics, but not remotely worried about the instrumentation. Even in dreams, a technical concern!

Now I won’t bore you with the many other details, because I know nobody is interested in other people’s dreams. Well, after all, it’s not really the dream but the sensation of having dreamt that holds such a fascinating allure for the dreamer.  Our partner stifles a yawn as we launch into a vivid description of a fantastic, half-remembered escape. Dreaming is hard to share.

But today this dream came back to me while listening to Francis Dhomont’s Espace/Escape. For this work is not, I think, about those trivial images that rise up and collide in dreams. Perhaps it is a work about how it feels to be dreaming them. Certainly images do arise: sometimes a voice, a stifled laugh, or a reverberating train announcement. Snapshots of humanity drift back and forth from unconscious unknowns. But now they are iridescent and surreal, with just enough reality to hang on to as a momentary solace in a boundless space. Yet these images are unfamiliar now, as they float through a world where incongruence is natural, and there is nothing strange—because everything is strange. Espace/Escape’s expansive, wandering sounds and gestures traverse immense spaces. They engulf the waking room I’m in now, and invite me to share dreaming.


Composer programme notes and bio

Back to main page