With Note and Silence, Blue and Bow.
· Piano and Chamber Orchestra ·
The stretch of strings, above, below,
As limb and torso twist,
The breath of woodwind,
With jump of key and shift of voice,
The constant chase of cryptic tune,
My restless eye,
Between the sheets I fall and feel anew.
• • •
· Piano ·
I touch the spike of sound lay bare,
Where note and silence mingle clear,
The beat of heart, my start and end,
Awake the journey whole and near.
• • •
Between The Sheets of Sleep Awake
Awake: the state of being, a journey towards becoming, or the instruction to be: conscious and aware.
As I lay on my back I ponder, I jump from one thought to the next, one feeling to another. My state of being awake is always more magical when laying down. When horizontal I am more vulnerable, and perhaps becuase of this I am more open to my inner voice and those of others.
I think of sleep being above and below me... My sleep supports me as the cotton sheet I rest on, and like the sheet that covers me, my spirit skin, wrapped by sleep.
Sleep is the world of my unknown, vital to my life, unseen, yet as important to me as those other hidden elements within me like my heart and mind.
As an instruction the word 'Awake' encourages me to be more mindful of: ideas, with another, with nature, and the world.
I lay awake between the sheets of my sleep and contemplate my love.
The art at the top of this page reminds me of a blue speckled iris, controlling the amount of light that falls inward. As there is no dark pupil, the eye is protected. Together with its title, I think of the eye as a visual metaphor: the beauty of sleep, shields.
I see a celestial sphere at a moment of its unhurried spin and at a time most humans rest, the night sky, beautiful, full with wonder and symbolic of the innumerable possible directions of thought, memory, and dream.
I gaze more closely to see a circular pattern of figures sleeping, as if guardians to my spirit world. A bright blue, ornately patterned pool of still water lays far below. The open top of this vast architectural dome falls away to every side to reveal the wonders of countless shadowy structures where my dreams reside.
There are two renditions of the music: orchestral, and solo piano. The orchestral version provides a tonal centre to the piano's dissonance. The piano solo presents more silence and subtleties that are sometimes hidden within the orchestral version.
The first of three sections of this short piece begins slowly with strings and woodwinds that weave around the tonal unease of the piano that at times seems to travel towards a more tuneful destination, only to return to its more abstract jittery path. Like the shifting sands of my mood, at times it is atonal, and at others, full with jazz and harmony. Towards its centre, the trumpet and clarinet join with uncertain movement. Waves of shimmering strings ebb and flow, and the changes of their increasingly powerful movement leads to a final section where the cello and piano dance in shared purpose. The piece ends as the piano and orchestra come to rest as one. As I listen closely to the final notes I hear the faintest sound of the piano chord ring out before silence returns.
The music's tonal dissonance is tempered by its rhythmical shape and sensitivity.
I consider the piano as an expression of my thoughts and feelings of my time between the sheets of sleep, and the orchestra, the elements of my dream and spirit world.
The poem collects the art, music, and my experience of my sleep between the sheets together...
A full size extract from 'Between The Sheets Of Sleep Awake' is followed by an extract from an early draft artwork for the music cover, and by the final cover with text.