Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I dream of... a music composition seminar?

I found another fun dream in my old blog and I had to share it with you. It's from about four years ago but as I read it, it feels like I dreamt it yesterday. It involves a little music composition/theory AND a former boy band member. Gotta love it.


I was at a HUGE church (we’re talking the size of a nice mall) with my friend Tyra for some kind of seminar. I guess it was on music composition or choral music because I remember having sheet music with "Ode to Joy" on it (although it was in Renaissance notation?!). I also remember a large overhead projector-type thing being set up and "Ode to Joy" being projected on the screen. One of the speakers (or maybe the only one?) was JC Chasez, formerly of NSYNC. He was very energetic and excited about the subject he was discussing, and he reminded me of a couple of teachers I had in college and grad school*. During his discussions, he would practically run around the room (a HUGE sanctuary) in order to make eye contact with more of the attendees, and several times I got to interact with him (*schoolgirl squeal*).

At one point we were discussing harmonization, and he sang a simple motive on the words "Alleluia, alleluia." Before harmonizing it, he wanted someone to change it up a little bit. I immediately thought of a simple change that would make it really awesome (and make whatever we wrote after it that much cooler) but of course, being me, I hesitated. He was RIGHT next to my pew (which was on the "stage left" side of the church, right next to the wall and windows; Tyra and I were sitting all the way on the end) when he asked, too. I finally got up the courage to raise my hand when he was on the opposite side of the sanctuary. I think he was actually hoping that I would raise my hand, because by that point several other people's hands were raised, and he looked around (right past some people directly in front of him who were volunteering!), craned his neck, and finally pointed across the sanctuary back to me!

Since I’m a music nerd I actually made visual aids. Here's what he sang:

As I said, I made a slight change, but it totally made it more interesting, harmony-wise:

After I sang it I explained that I'd changed the last note to give more possibilities for harmonies and he got all hyper and went "Yes! That's great! I'm so excited that I want to finish the whole song right now!" [This scarily reminds me of my own teaching style…!]

I remember two other things happening besides that:

1) At some point I ended up at the front of the room with JC, and I think Tyra was up there with me (maybe he was using us as assistants?). He mentioned that he needed to eat something during the upcoming break, and I JUMPED on that—no hesitation this time, haha—and in a split second I went "I can go with you if you'd like." Unfortunately he didn't seem to hear me (I think he went on talking about something else, or maybe I said it too quickly). So I turned to Tyra and said "He didn't catch that, did he?"

2) I wanted to go find my viola so that I could show off my instrumental skills to JC (since I'd already wowed him with my vocal prowess, HA!). So I went outside to find my car, hoping that I'd left my viola in there from a gig I had earlier [in real life it would’ve been inside with me, geez!]. But it was pitch black outside and I'd arrived when it was still light, so the parking lot looked very different. I could NOT find my car. I ran around in the cold and rainy night, dodging past the few people who were standing out in the lot talking (what were they doing?! It was COLD, and raining!). I started to panic and maybe even cry a little, and this sinister-looking guy asked me "You're afraid, aren't you?" (implying that I was afraid of getting mugged/attacked). I told him that I wasn't afraid; I just couldn't find my car.

Then it took me forever to find my way back into the church. Oh sure, there were lots of doors, but which one led to the sanctuary?? I finally found some big double doors that looked unfamiliar but safer than the smaller side doors I kept finding, and I asked someone nearby where these led to. They said "to the stage," in a very "duh" manner. Well exCUSE ME!! So I pulled back one of the huge doors, walked in, and ended up in the very middle of the pulpit in the sanctuary. That's right—on stage, front and center. But I didn't let it phase me. I just hurried to some stairs, hopped down, and ran to someone (but I don't think it was Tyra?) to tell them that I couldn't find my vacuum.

That's right. Somehow I'd gone from looking for my viola to looking for a vacuum. Some nosy guy overheard me and said "Since you're wanting to vacuum, could you use ours and vacuum the church?" I couldn't believe he'd just asked me that, and in front of all those people (although the group size had gone down, since we were apparently on a break)! I panicked because I didn't want to vacuum this place (wouldn't a church that big hire like, a team of people to do that work?), but I was afraid that it would get back to JC that I was a selfish and lazy person...?! But I still said no. The end.


What’s unique about this dream is that so many elements of it were taken from snippets of actual situations in my life. I guess sometimes my subconscious runs out of fresh, crazy material and uses actual memories and events!

*In case you were wondering, the aforementioned teachers are Dr. Walsh, my theory teacher from undergrad, and Clay Higgins, a Spanish teacher from grad school. Two of my favorite teachers!


  1. Wow! You dream in such rich detail! I bet you'd love that new movie "Inception"...the buzz is all good!

  2. I never remember my dreams, but that's probably because my head's in the clouds all day long!!

    LOVE this recollection!! Dropping the final note a half step sounds better to these ears too. What do you use to create those snippets?

  3. @Kimberly: Yeah, sometimes the detail is frightening, haha! I cannot WAIT to see Inception. In fact, I don't know what I'm waiting for...

    @Buck: Thanks, glad you like it! I used Finale to create the snippets, then hit "Print Screen" and cropped the images in Paint. :-)