Monday, February 14, 2011

A Portrait of the Clarinet as a Political Weapon

Last night I dreamed that I was working on a computer program of some kind, and upon achieving some measure of success with it, I was accused of being a hacker. Insisting that I was not seemed futile. My accusers persisted with their lies.

I found a clarinet somewhere and started to play it. I don't play the clarinet, really. I took a woodwind class years ago in which I was required to play one a little, but I don't actually know how to play it properly. Nevertheless, I discovered that I was not entirely terrible. Although I was only messing around with it, a crowd soon gathered around me to listen to my playing.

I stopped to explain to the kids in the crowd what the instrument was and its basic functionality. Knowing, however, that the kids would soon grow bored if I talked for too long, I jumped right into another piece of music.

Miraculously, this time I had a band accompanying me. I also realized suddenly that I was the greatest clarinetist who ever lived. We jumped right into it: at about 160 beats per minute, I played an extended lead part consisting of constant sixteenths with occasional triplets to mix it up. We ramped up the intensity and increased the tempo very gradually, until at last the band dropped out, and I finished off with two full measures of a relentless barrage of notes: sixteenth triplets first, finishing off with a flurry of thirty-secondths.

The band joined in again, and I tossed the clarinet to a nearby roadie. I started to sing. The lyrics are gone now, but they had something to do with finding a place where I could be at peace.

The melody was something like this:

After a single verse, the song was over, and everyone cheered until my accusers had no choice but to leave me alone lest the mob tar and feather them.

~  ~  ~

Ordinarily I reserve the label "Important (Long) Dreams" for those dreams that I flesh out into a sort of short short story. I didn't do that here, because I am busy. In any case, this dream felt important, and thus it should have been so fleshed out. I might have written some notes down for later blogging purposes, but usually what happens when I do that is that the dream never really gets translated into blog form at all. So I opted to write it more simply as I have done above.

I do sometimes dream about writing or playing music or both. What is interesting to me is that the music is usually not bad at all. I'm not sure what exactly this suggests about the human mind and how creativity is related to the subconscious, but it seems to suggest something. I don't know a lot about psychology or neurological anatomy, but as far as I can tell, the subconscious parts of the human brain are not altogether separate or distinct from the parts involved in creating artwork. Or the parts that create artwork are not turned off whilst in a dreamspace.

I also don't know why I played the clarinet in this dream. I play the guitar quite well, so why didn't I play that?

If one of my hundreds of thousands of readers who have extensive experience in the relevant fields would kindly give me some insight, I would be much obliged.


  1. I like that under label is says: "Pretending to have readers." :)

  2. Yeah, I'm very good at pretending to have readers.