Author Topic: 10 year anniversary of my orchestral work, "Ancient Dreams"  (Read 135 times)

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Offline relm1

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10 year anniversary of my orchestral work, "Ancient Dreams"
« on: November 11, 2020, 04:40:05 PM »
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the premiere of my piece, “Ancient Dreams”.  This symphonic poem premiered on November 12, 2010, by the Los Angles Doctors Symphony with Ivan Shulman conducting.  I remastered the recording of the premiere for this anniversary and had fun revisiting it.  It felt familiar but also distant...like seeing an old friend again who you once knew well but haven’t seen in a decade as you’ve gone different paths.  I thought some things were more effective than I remembered, thinking to myself, “you know, it was a spirited effort”.  Here are excerpts from the remastered premiere:
https://clyp.it/ytyc3wbm
https://clyp.it/soyefiqs

Program Notes:
Dream interpretation is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians.  Dreams were considered to be divine predictions of the future and were seen as messages from the gods that could be foretelling of impending disasters or conversely, good fortunes; therefore understanding the mysteries and significance of one’s dreams preoccupied the ancient world as evidenced by an Egyptian papyrus found containing a record of dreams and their interpretations dating from the 19th Dynasty (around 1,275 BC).

In my composition, “Ancient Dreams”, I was inspired by an article from The British Museum about a papyrus called “The Dream Book” dating from the time of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC).  I found it interesting how the subject of dreams would describe everyday life, hopes, and fears in those ancient times and I decided to use this concept as the basis for my piece. 

Though some of the dreams deal with the excessively mundane (a good crop the following year, being the victim of gossip, one’s infidelity being exposed), some of the interpretations resonated with me.  The music contains three allusions to “the Dream Book” that are loosely referenced as three sections in my work:

1. Windows (slow)
2. The Shining Moon (moderate)
3. Sphinx (fast)

These stories are connected through a recurring theme that gradually and organically evolves from one section to the next.

Windows
Dreams were believed by the ancients to serve as windows through which the living could see the activities of the deceased. However, since the dreamer had no control while dreaming, there was a pervading fear that he could be accessible to malicious spirits, opening a disturbing portal to unwanted beings from the afterlife.  This sense of mysterious unease from the unknown is captured in the opening section of my work.

The Shining Moon
If the dreamer saw the shining moon, it represented forgiveness.  This sequence is reflected through a yearning and lyrical middle section in the music.

Sphinx
According to the dream record, Tuthmosis IV fell asleep at the base of the Sphinx and dreamed that the god Hamarkis told him that if he would clear away the accumulated sand from the Sphinx and re-establish the god’s temple, Tuthmosis would become pharaoh. He followed these instructions and indeed became pharaoh.

The work concludes with an extended sequence of boldness and heroism as the ancients would have interpreted Tuthmosis IV’s dream and ascension to his divinely ordained throne. 

Duration is 18 minutes and scored for orchestra of 3(3rd=piccolo).2.3(3rd=bass clarinet).2/4.3.3.1/timp+3/2 hp (2nd is optional) and strings.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 04:51:55 PM by relm1 »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: 10 year anniversary of my orchestral work, "Ancient Dreams"
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 01:32:09 PM »
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the premiere of my piece, “Ancient Dreams”.  This symphonic poem premiered on November 12, 2010, by the Los Angles Doctors Symphony with Ivan Shulman conducting.  I remastered the recording of the premiere for this anniversary and had fun revisiting it.  It felt familiar but also distant...like seeing an old friend again who you once knew well but haven’t seen in a decade as you’ve gone different paths.  I thought some things were more effective than I remembered, thinking to myself, “you know, it was a spirited effort”.  Here are excerpts from the remastered premiere:
https://clyp.it/ytyc3wbm
https://clyp.it/soyefiqs

Program Notes:
Dream interpretation is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians.  Dreams were considered to be divine predictions of the future and were seen as messages from the gods that could be foretelling of impending disasters or conversely, good fortunes; therefore understanding the mysteries and significance of one’s dreams preoccupied the ancient world as evidenced by an Egyptian papyrus found containing a record of dreams and their interpretations dating from the 19th Dynasty (around 1,275 BC).

In my composition, “Ancient Dreams”, I was inspired by an article from The British Museum about a papyrus called “The Dream Book” dating from the time of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC).  I found it interesting how the subject of dreams would describe everyday life, hopes, and fears in those ancient times and I decided to use this concept as the basis for my piece. 

Though some of the dreams deal with the excessively mundane (a good crop the following year, being the victim of gossip, one’s infidelity being exposed), some of the interpretations resonated with me.  The music contains three allusions to “the Dream Book” that are loosely referenced as three sections in my work:

1. Windows (slow)
2. The Shining Moon (moderate)
3. Sphinx (fast)

These stories are connected through a recurring theme that gradually and organically evolves from one section to the next.

Windows
Dreams were believed by the ancients to serve as windows through which the living could see the activities of the deceased. However, since the dreamer had no control while dreaming, there was a pervading fear that he could be accessible to malicious spirits, opening a disturbing portal to unwanted beings from the afterlife.  This sense of mysterious unease from the unknown is captured in the opening section of my work.

The Shining Moon
If the dreamer saw the shining moon, it represented forgiveness.  This sequence is reflected through a yearning and lyrical middle section in the music.

Sphinx
According to the dream record, Tuthmosis IV fell asleep at the base of the Sphinx and dreamed that the god Hamarkis told him that if he would clear away the accumulated sand from the Sphinx and re-establish the god’s temple, Tuthmosis would become pharaoh. He followed these instructions and indeed became pharaoh.

The work concludes with an extended sequence of boldness and heroism as the ancients would have interpreted Tuthmosis IV’s dream and ascension to his divinely ordained throne. 

Duration is 18 minutes and scored for orchestra of 3(3rd=piccolo).2.3(3rd=bass clarinet).2/4.3.3.1/timp+3/2 hp (2nd is optional) and strings.


The music sounds great!  Sounds beautiful and totally professional. You state that the composition is based on the Dream Book. The first clip sounds ethereal and mysterious.  Somehow, it reminds me of Japanese court music a little bit as well.  The 2nd clip presents a magnificent and vibrant image. Very good combination and I imagine that the entire composition is quite successful and effective. You may want to consider posting the whole performance on YT.  Congratulations.

Offline relm1

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Re: 10 year anniversary of my orchestral work, "Ancient Dreams"
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 07:16:50 AM »

The music sounds great!  Sounds beautiful and totally professional. You state that the composition is based on the Dream Book. The first clip sounds ethereal and mysterious.  Somehow, it reminds me of Japanese court music a little bit as well.  The 2nd clip presents a magnificent and vibrant image. Very good combination and I imagine that the entire composition is quite successful and effective. You may want to consider posting the whole performance on YT.  Congratulations.

Thanks!  Sorry for the slow response, I missed your post.  I remember not liking the performance, glockenspiel way too loud, so much audience noises (chairs, etc.) but eventually. after remastering it, I like it much better now than I did ten years ago.