2014-10-27 — Re-posting as is (WordPress)
2016-06-19 — Brushed up for better readability
Day-Dreams vs. “Real” Dreams
I rarely remember any dreams (maybe excepting rare nightmares!). If I do, these dreams are not about music — normally. Interestingly, to this day I distinctly remember one dream from my time at secondary school: the scene was in a winter school camp, during one of these notorious evening entertainments. I suddenly jumped out of a wooden box in the center of the room, with my violin, playing fast & wild virtuoso style (haha, that can’t be me!!), entertaining the entire school crowd. I suspect this was rather a nightmare, indicating how much I would expose myself by playing the violin in public? But I don’t remember anything beyond that point … or maybe it was just a daydream, a fantasy? I am a daydreamer, at times …
Career Dreams and Reality
The above certainly was an exception — but then, throughout high school I was (day)dreaming about what I wanted / liked / wished to make out of music in my life. I had the idea of becoming a conductor! I mostly kept that for myself, certainly did not mention it to schoolmates.
Once I mentioned it to my violin teacher at high school. He told me to read Bruno Walter‘s autobiographic books, “Thema und Variationen” (“Theme and Variations”, Find book on amazon.com), and “Von der Musik und vom Musizieren” (“Of Music and Music-Making”, Find book on amazon.com), just to learn what is or may be involved in becoming a conductor. I did eventually read these books (at least the first one), but also otherwise I soon realized that my abilities were nowhere near those of even a modest conductor!
Conductor Dreams with the “Eroica”
For a while this certainly sounded like a nice thing to dream about — at an age where I was imagining how nice it would be to bring joy and emotions to many people’s hearts! For a while I certainly enjoyed these illusions, could even completely immerse myself into this world.
Picture this: I’m sitting in front of our “steam radio”, with Beethoven’s Eroica (an interpretation by Paul Kletzki, probably with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande) on the turntable. I was waving my arms, conducting that symphony into the loudspeaker (and the sound must have been truly horrible!). I must have done that numerous times, as I can still remember this interpretation! At one point I turned towards the window and saw a group of fellows / kids from the neighborhood disappear around the corner. They had been watching me for a while and must have had good fun!
In the aftermath I wonder why I picked the Eroica. I now think it’s not the easiest of the Beethoven symphonies to understand and get access to. Probably it was mere coincidence, i.e., one Beethoven symphony that my parents had in their modest collection. Actually, they also had a recording of the “Pastorale” — still, I picked the 3rd. I have been looking for a CD of that recording of the Eroica lately (maybe pure nostalgia?), when I listened through all my Beethoven symphony recordings, but could not find it. When we dissolved my parent’s household, that LP turned out to be broken into pieces. This was a pre-vinyl, shellac LP, and someone must have been sitting on it! 🙁
Can music make me dream?
Actually, I don’t think this is the right term to describe how I enjoy music. Think about titles such as “Music for your dreams” etc.: I would never listen to such recordings. I would intuitively expect something that I would find boring, if not even disgusting. Music might bring back memories from performances and concerts, early recordings, etc. — but that’s not dreaming (to me).
I quite like to immerse myself into certain recordings (e.g., Henryk Mikołaj Górecki‘s “Miserere” or his “Amen”. But that’s something maybe to be elaborated in a separate blog entry). I can also (to a certain degree) enjoy meditative music (such as “Drumming” by Steve Reich, and other minimal art. Occasionally — many years ago — I even listened to Indian music, such as sitar music by Ravi Shankar. But I would not call this dreaming either, nor even meditating, even if some pieces may cause me to expand my thoughts into the situation of humanity, the planet, the situation and well-being of so many other people on this world …
No, music does not make me dream — but I often enjoy it almost physically: it can send shivers or heat waves down my spine, it can give me goose bumps, it may touch me to tears …