#486: Dream Music

Welcome to another theme week at mikeladano.com. This week: Getting MORE Getting More Tale. Instead of reviews, we have lined up five days of music stories in the Getting More Tale series. Hope you enjoy.


dream music

Have you ever heard music in your dreams?

Steve Vai has.  When he was a young musician, he experimented with lucid dreaming.  When you’re in a lucid dream, you can control your own actions.  Vai’s lucid dreams were very sexual, and musical.  Eventually his album Passion & Warfare emerged from these experiences.  The opening track “Liberty” is directly inspired by one of his dreams where he was standing saluting a flag (“a different kind of flag,” said Steve).  His song “Liberty” was meant to approximate what he heard in the dream, but what he was able to write versus what he actually heard in his head were very different.  He was unable to capture the fullness and grandeur of his dream.

Terence Trent D’Arby too has heard music in his dreams.  In his case, Marvin Gaye approached him in a dream, and asked if he’d be interested in a song Gaye had written.  Perhaps as an expression of his own ego, D’Arby answered, “If I like it.”  He must have, because D’Arby recorded the song as “To Know Someone Deeply is to Know Someone Softly” on 1989’s Neither Fish Nor Flesh.  Much like Vai, D’Arby found it impossible to translate the beauty of his dream music accurately into the real world.

As for me?  I’m no musician; I wish I was.  Maybe if I was, I could do something with the music constantly cruising around in my unconscious LeBrain!*

I don’t know why it is, but music does exist in dreams, and vividly so.  Bringing that music into the auditory realm is so damn hard no matter how hard you try to remember.  I like to write songs – little riffs and melodies that fit together into ditties that I can hum, but not really perform on an instrument.  Some of the music I have heard in my dreams would have been the best songs in the world, had they been real!

It’s impossible to describe anything specifically, except to say the music I heard in my dreams was heavy, symphonic, grand and complex.  If I wanted to, I could focus in on any specific part.  I could dive into the strings and hear the individual parts.   I could even manipulate the music once immersed.  As if I was playing the guitar myself, I could make the guitar solo go any way I wanted it to.  I could control the music like I was a conductor.   The only thing I couldn’t do was remember it when I woke up.

I’d wake up, and even though I could remember dreaming of an amazing piece of music, I couldn’t get it out of my head and onto tape or paper.  I could hum a melody or two, but nothing more.  The grandness and power was all gone.  Who knows if the melody I was humming was even anything like what I heard.  Either way, the melodies I would hum after would be tiny snippets, special in no way at all.

It’s a rare, bizarre, beautiful, frustrating experience.  Has this ever happened to you?



*Thanks to Mr. Books for perfecting that sentence for me.



    1. I think they’re some sort of truth to that. In my dreams, all the music was very progressive. There was nothing pedestrian about it. The first time it happened I thought I AM THE GREATEST SONGWRITER ALIVE and I started planning my empire. Then I couldn’t remember the song.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Yes and I never remember them long enough to write them down. I have come up with a cool riff or three in the shower though. I just keep humming them until I can dry off and grab a guitar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what, I’m convinced that even if you grabbed your guitar immediately and started recording, I don’t think you ever get the full power of the dream music.


  2. Nope, sorry dude. By the time I get my head down on the pillow, I’m gone. If I’m dreaming, I don’t remember it at all.

    Laughed out loud at D’arby saying Gaye came to him in a dream and saying he’d take the song ‘if he liked it.’ Haha what a twat. WHERE ARE YOU NOW, TERENCE?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “As for me? I’m no musician; I wish I was. Maybe if I was, I could do something with the music constantly cruising around in my unconscious brain!”

    FIXED IT FOR YOU: As for me? I’m no musician; I wish I was. Maybe if I was, I could do something with the music constantly cruising around in my unconscious LEBRAIN!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YES this has happened to me. My dreams are vivid, I dream in colour, and have had lucid dreams. I have also dreamt of bands releasing music and videos in my dream that I have never heard before in real life – and they were FANTASTIC! An early dream when I was into Duran Duran (at 10-11), I remember dreaming DD released a new video and the music was out of this world. The closest song to it was “I Take the Dice” off of their Seven and the Ragged Tiger album, but it wasn’t. The video was in colour, but the band was adorned in ashened paint (like dipped in ashes) so they were black and white, but the world around them was in colour. I woke up thinking I had heard the song before somewhere, but couldn’t place it. I have had this sort of thing happen in my dreams several times. A Led Zeppelin song…and most recently New Order. I also dream of the next creative project. In a funny twist, I also dream commercial jingles that I could swear were real, but then wonder if it was a dream…or I am having a Mandela effect…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One time, when I was really into Quiet Riot, I heard that they needed a new bassist. I had a dream later on, that they hired Gene Simmons as their new bassist. So give that a thought a moment — Gene Simmons quit Kiss to join…Quiet Riot. But in my dream it made sense and I believed it was real.

      When I woke up, I could have sworn it was real. I didn’t ask people at school, “Did you hear Gene Simmons joined Quiet Riot?” because I didn’t want to be laughed at, but I WAS NOT SURE.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! This stuff has happened to me too.

        Just last night, I made myself look dumb when I was convinced Marlon Brando was in the film Dune (it wasn’t him…It was a Brando look-alike.) Twice during finals when I was in school, I was convinced something existed, and when I tried to recall it while in study-group, my classmates looked at me like I had lost my mind, but I could have sworn it existed.

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        1. The original Dune with Kyle McLaughlin? I’ve been meaning to re-watch that. It’s been a decade since last viewing.

          Have you watched the doc Jodorowski’s Dune? It’s on Netflix.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. LOL, yes I’m talking that Dune. Mike, K had it on our PVR for MONTHS. We tried watching it last night. It was terrible. Must be too esoteric for us. We got through a 1/2 hour and quit. Sir Pat looked awesome though.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. No, we got as far as Kyle’s battle with that cylinder that shoots out weapons, and he was training with it. So so bad. I like old cgi, if it’s good cgi…those special effects weren’t very special…lol

          Liked by 1 person

        4. It’s just so terrible on every front. Jodorowski’s Dune might have been interesting. His idea of having a different band doing the music for each planet it takes place on. Pink Floyd…could have been good.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. BTW, you, Mike, are a creative person. Even though you say you are not a musician, I think you have the inclination. You certainly can lyricize a blogpost, and you know what music is good. If you gave yourself the opportunity to try it, I am sure you have it in you (one creative person to another ;) ).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. This is going to sound really cheesy, but Jen should get you a Casio for xmas. I good one. MY granny had one she donned to me later on (broken now) but it had guitar, drums, piano…I loved it. Just tinkering around with it was super fun.

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        1. My sister has so many musical instruments, she may even have something like that from a long time ago that I could use. I SHOULD still have the cassette here where the two of us recorded all of our “songs”!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. My old guitar teacher said something to me that always made sense.

          I think guitar is hard personally — I have a hard time getting my hands in all the right positions and getting the strings to ring nicely. But with a keyboard, he said “you can drop an ashtray on a key and it’s still make the right note. If you do that with a guitar you’ll get nothing.” It’s harder to physically do, for me. A keyboard is easier plus I used to program stuff and then listen back. It’s kind of similar to how I edit things in Audacity now. (Working on musical bits for Sausagefest 2016)

          Liked by 2 people

  6. frustrating when you hear music and can’t transcribe it from dreams. I think i have gotten some cool riffs but don’t remember which ones. My most vivid musical dreams have been listening to music…Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads and either hearing a story in words translated from the notes or seeing the notes colorized and lit up on a fretboard. Also having dreams that are a reaction to music I am hearing while sleeping…good times!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool isn’t it?! Tell me it wasn’t Winger though lol…The first one I remember was when I was a kid to Bungle in the Jungle by Tull. My dream went all cartoon in a jungle setting with a stage, monkeys dancing and singing and everything it was vivid and 40 years ago I still remember…crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ummm yes it actually was Winger but it was one of their few really progressive tracks and I fell asleep with it playing. It was their song “In the Heart of the Young”…Kip said it took a year of writing to finish the song!

          That Tull dream actually sounds kind of frightening!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Winger wasn’t actually that bad and Rod was a great drummer. The dream I had was actually very bright kids kind of cartoonish definitely not scary…it was pretty cool!


  7. Yeah. This happens to me quite a bit. Often dreaming about songs and gigs and suchlike. I also have those dreams where you see someone you like and they’re not that person. But they are. For example, going to see D’arby and it’s George Clooney, but he’s definitely D’arby. And he played the greatest song ever. That kinda thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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