Whenever I wake up from a dream, I am impressed at just how gullible I was during the dream experience. No matter how improbable or surreal the situation is, I always accept it as reality. It’s as if a dream is the most potent form of theater, where the all-important suspension of disbelief is hard-wired into the experience.
Something Dreamed, Something Lost, for clarinet and electronics, attempts to construct a music world suffused with dream logic. When writing the piece, I purposefully eschewed any long-range formal planning, instead writing from left to right, not necessarily knowing where the piece would go or end until I made an in-the-moment, intuitive decision. I wanted the musical material to create its own logic and direction, and make myself as much of a listener as a master builder.
The sense of dreamscape and heightened reality affected my sonic choices as well. I sought to take a range recognizable instrumental sounds and distort them in a way that confused my own sense of the real and the imagined. My hope is that the live clarinet becomes a shape-shifter in its own right, caught up in this sonic dream world and fully believing that it too is an imagined, electronic sound—just as I fully believe the preposterous realities of my dreams.
Something Dreamed, Something Lost was commissioned by clarinetist Ford Forqurean and premiered at Rose Recital Hall, University of Pennsylvania, on November 11th, 2015.