Asleep We Fall

Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Piano, Celeste, and Synthetic Sounds


·  Each Day I Am Awake, Each Night Asleep  ·


Each Night I Am Awake, Each Day Asleep.

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Asleep: alive but not awake. In a deep state of rest. Unknown. Unknowing.

We: I together with another or others.

Fall: a physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual movement from one state to another, for example, I fall asleep.

I wonder how many humans are asleep at this very moment. Perhaps a third of the total human population. That is as many as two billion people across the world as you read this...

As I sleep I am not consciously aware, but my mind is still active, not only as I dream, but also as countless new paths and connections are made so that I come to understand, so that I am able to cope with life's complexities, and so that I can love.

My body remains animated throughout my sleep, just below the surface as it repairs and rejuvenates itself. So far from the nothing that superficially presents itself as I observe someone asleep, living things continue to be very much alive: they undergo continual and profound change.

The painting shows a stream of brightly coloured shapes that flow from a thin horizontal plane of leaf-like forms at the very top, as if the edge of some great waterfall. The greens and earthy browns remind me of the plethora of living things, and the luminous contours of vibrant energy that continues to flow below my still deceptive surface when I am asleep. Although there are no clearly recognizable forms, the image leaves me with an impression of movement and vigour as I ponder on my being asleep, not as a state of inactivity, but of hidden and mysterious existence.

The music begins with a clear statement from the string section of an orchestra, woodwinds, French horns, and a trumpet. The style is certain as is the state of being awake. Here at the start there is no sense of dream, no mystery, although there are quiet, almost imperceptible textural sounds that shape the aural background, and this ambient fabric of sound soon becomes more pressing with the proclamation of a single note from a solo clarinet. Enigmatic sounds ebb and flow as the bell-like celeste rings out its prelude to sleep. A solo cello plays its dream-like waltz and is joined in unison by a violin and larger cello section. The textures that have been in the background now show themselves more openly like the hidden force of our unconscious that weaves its way throughout our days and nights without our knowing. The piece ends as sleep begins...

I can be asleep to the needs of another, and to others, to nature and the earth, to what someone says, and to how someone acts. I can be asleep to the sound of a butterfly's wings, and the scent of freshly baked bread. But I will try not to be asleep to my experience of what it is to sleep.

I can never know sleep, but I value its mystery and cherish the great moments of my life asleep, as when I find myself with another who does the same.

To fall willingly and fast asleep I trust and love...

An extract from the full size artwork follows.