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.
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.