Dreaming as a Musical Practice

I trust my dreams to reveal aspects of reality that I can’t access in waking life. The shuffle of influences, information, and stimuli creates new combinations in music, writing, and visual art impossible to activate with my waking mind. My dreaming self is my most constant collaborator. 

I sometimes try to influence my dreaming by reading before bed, or by using self-guided meditations. For a while, I read Ambrose Bierce’s horror stories before I fell asleep to see what would happen. One night during that time, I had a dramatic experience of sleep paralysis, which I mention in my song, “M.K.” A wraith whose skin hung in tatters sat on my chest in bed, and I was unable to speak or move to get away from it. The experience later fit in really well with “M.K.” which I wrote while dealing with an episode of fibromyalgia. 

Other songs with direct dream influences are “Silver” (flying indoors) and “My Lullaby” (animals living inside my kitchen cabinets.) 

I also dream to meet new people, travel without time or financial constraints, and sometimes to visit the dirty 1970s supermarket that is my most-frequently-dreamed location. When I dream about friends, I tell them. 

(Written for The SpeakEasy's curation of Ione's Dream Festival's online residency, February 2018.) 


All content © 2019 Lys Guillorn, music © 1995-2019 Lys Guillorn (Little Wren/BMI)