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Notes about Dreamscape

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My third album, Dreamscape, was released in March of 2019. Similar to my previous albums, Dreamscape features soothing piano solos and lightly orchestrated instrumental songs designed to alleviate daily stress and take you to a dreamy world of relaxation. The concept of the album is loosely based on the idea of sleep and dreaming.

Dreamscape

I was originally going to produce an album of four songs, each about 15 minutes long, which were designed for 15-minute periods of relaxation. I thought it would be a great way to time out meditation time through music. When the music ended, you knew you were done. I thought they could also be used for hypnosis, but the more I got involved with the project, I realized that the scope of it was a little more than I was qualified and capable of doing. So I reworked the songs that I had started for that project to fit the concept of Dreamscape. The original version of this song was about 15 minutes long. Here’s a short sample of the original version:

I reworked the song into a piano solo with strings in the background. Basically the song released on the album is an inverted version of the original with the melody featured more prominently in the piano. I think both versions work for their intended purpose, but the the piano version was more conducive to the revised album format.


Simplicity

I think this song only took a few hours to write. It just sort of came out. It was one of those rare moments when everything comes together and there’s no struggling with the flow and direction of the song. It’s about as simple as it gets, which is why I named it Simplicity. It seems to personify everything that’s simple and straight forward in life.


Aerial Ballet

There’s a song called, A Walk in the Clouds, on my previous album, Ethereal Encounter. The song used a guitar with effects to create a semi-ambient feel. I called the song, A Walk in the Clouds, because that’s what the feeling of the song called to my mind. To me, there’s something inviting about laying in the clouds and absorbing the warm rays from the sun. I know it’s impossible but it still has a certain appeal.

I guess that I just couldn’t shake the notion of relaxing in the clouds so I created another song for this album with the same basic idea. I used the same guitar effect. However, Aerial Ballet is longer and has more melodic development than A Walk in the Clouds. For my first venture into animation, I made a video for A Walk in the Clouds of an alien spacecraft landing in the clouds and a little alien beaming out and walking around in the clouds. For this song, I think I’ll do a less silly video of just relaxing shots of the clouds, and sunset, and whatever seems to fit.


Sunset

I don’t know why, but this song reminds me of sunset in New York City. The song was actually written a few years ago and I don’t recall the circumstances around it at the time. I’ve sat down and played it from time to time and finally decided to include it on this album. Because of the association of New York at sunset, I thought it was an appropriate addition to the theme of the album. It was originally about a minute longer than the version on the album. As I listened to it after the album was finished I felt like some of it was a little too redundant so I shortened it. While musical structure is based on repetition, sometimes it can be a little too repetitious.


Carried Away

You never know when a song idea will hit you. I was out shopping with my wife and kids when the idea of this song started going through my head. As I always do in these circumstances, I recorded the idea into my iPhone by just humming the melody line I was hearing in my head.


Chill

The original concept for the album came from this song. I was originally going to call the album, Chill, but as I worked through various amounts of head trash, and problems with the musical direction, I ultimately decided to call the album, Dreamscape. You’ll notice the same guitar from from Aerial Ballet. And as is common with many of my songs, I use a synthesized “Ah” chorus throughout the song. I’ve been listening to the album as I’ve been writing the notes about it. Unlike my previous albums, I didn’t keep notes as I worked on songs. As I’ve been listening, thoughts have come back to me that I had while working on the songs. For example, I had considered changing the guitar to piano, but it seemed too heavy.


Nocturne

I originally named this song Sunset, but the name just didn’t fit. I didn’t have yet have a name for the song that I ended up naming Sunset, and it seemed a better fit for the name than this song. This song is a little more mellow and more conducive to the idea of relaxing at night. The word Nocturne comes from French and means nocturnal. It often refers to musical compositions that are inspired by, or evocative of the night.. It is commonly associated with a body of classical music written by composers such as Frederic Chopin. For me, this song evokes a feeling of night, so the name, in my opinion, fits.


REM

There should really be a period in between each of the letters of the name of this song – R.E.M. – because it’s an acronym for Rapid Eye Movement. I don’t seem to have any recollection of how this song came about. Chalk it up to brain damage. The song, however, represents the period of sleep referred to as R.E.M. The first period of this phase of the sleep cycle usually kicks in about 90 minutes after you fall asleep.It’s the sleep phase in which dreams occur.


Suspended Reality

Have you ever noticed that state you’re in when falling asleep in which you seem to hover between consciousness and sleep? You may think you hear a sound that turns out to be in your mind. This stage in sleep is the inspiration for this song. I think this is officially considered the first stage of the sleep cycle, and is the one we most often wake from during the night.


Soaking up the Sun

This was probably the most intentional song I wrote for the album. After a good night’s sleep it’s great to wake up to the refreshing sound of birds chirping and sunlight coming in through the window. I hate waking up early in the morning during the winter when it’s dark outside. I had to end this album with a song about morning and waking up.

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