Artist: Michael McDermit
Title: Dreams Are What We Wake Up From
Release #: MIF295
Format: Digital
Release Date: 03/10/2015

1. Brigata Uno
2. Brigata Due
3. Brigata Tre
4. Brigata Quattro
5. Brigata Cinque
6. Brigata Sei
7. Brigata Sette
8. Brigata Otto
9. Brigata Nove
10. Brigata Dieci
11. Brigata Undici
12. II Cuore Mangiato (The Eaten Heart)

A Simple History:

Raymond Carver was the guy who said, “Dreams are, you know, what you wake up from.” That, like most other things he said, makes sense at a basic level. It implies dreaming occurs in a private domain, and that something is lost immediately upon waking. We haven’t yet found a way to share dreams, therefore only the dreamer is aware of what just came before. In that way, dreams may be the only explicitly solitary experience left.

Our friends the Scientists say the most salient of our dreams activate our brains’ Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex. Impress your friends with that one. That’s the part that controls most executive functions, which is an umbrella term that includes our most sophisticated memory reconstruction, our planning abilities, and cognitive flexibility, which is the skill that lets us think about more than one thing at the same time. It’s one of the most recently evolved areas of the brain. The DLPFC is also the part that is most affected by major depression. Whether that’s relevant information to dreaming or not is up to you.

All this is to say that the deepest dreams come from a part of us we don’t yet much understand. The majority of us forget what we dream as soon as the real world breaks through again. The brain thinks it knows what’s most important for us. Most often it does. But some things in the dream realm stick around. You know they do. How then, if at all, can one’s dream experience translate to the waking world at large?

There are two parts to this:

Audio: The dreamers recount their dreams. There is music and noise, too. The band responsible has been dubbed Déjà Rêvé, which is like déjà vu, only for dreams. The music and noise is an attempt at rendering the activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that may have been happening while the dreamers were dreaming. However you slice it, it’s a weird space in there.

Visual: There are two attempts at textual output of the dreamers’ dreams. First, under the HUMAN heading, an actual person listened to the original audio and wrote down what she remembered after a few listens. Beneath, under the MACHINE heading, is the interpretation of a computer program (affectionately dubbed RACTER II) after being fed the original dreamers’ recordings. Accompanying the text is a small series of mystical photographs that act as another means of interpretation to the original dream.

Many thanks to the gracious dreamers:

Blanchard, Volkar, Lee, Miller, Heath, Lanzendorfer, Ringleb, Koestler, Rummell, Krauss, Muzzi,

and to Ezra Carlsen for his photographs.

Project created, arranged, and produced by Michael McDermit

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