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Music Text

Sarah Manguso & 7 first hand dream accounts (E)


3(III=picc).3.3(II=Ebcl, III=bcl).3(III=dbn)-; SD/cym(M)/tom-t(low)/4tgl(low, medium low, medium high, high)/brake dr/BD/guiro/bell tree/tamb/cow bell/high hat-pft(=digital kbd sampler)-strings

Tech Requirements
This work includes 18 audio samples which must be loaded into a digital keyboard. The samples should be assigned to the keyboard pitches notated in the part. The keyboard should have a volume pedal on the output. The amplification system should be on the stage next to the keyboard. The dynamic markings in the score represent the approximate volume levels of the samples. The 18 stereo samples are available from the publisher with the performance materials.

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, IL
Grant Park Orchestra / Grant Park Chorus / Carlos Kalmar
Composer's Notes

Sleepers and Dreamers explores the mysterious nature of sleep. We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping. Over a lifetime, it is a vast expanse of time for which, aside from the occasional dream remembered, we have little conscious awareness. Sleepers and Dreamers imagines this remote world within us.

In the first part of the piece, Sleepers, we experience sleep from the outside. Sleep is observed, considered, analyzed. "The sleepers' eyes dart. Their limbs and faces twitch. Their eyes beat beneath their lids." It is the world of science, rational thought, daylight.

In the second part, Dreamers, night falls and we enter the strange, remote, world of sleep. The chorus sings without words, conjuring the oblivion of deep sleep. This is interrupted by short fragmentary dreams, each from a different dreamer.

Phillip dreams that a locomotive is coming towards him and he can't escape. Leah dreams she is swimming in the air. Susan confronts a bat the size of a boy. All are locked in sleep, remote from even themselves, yet what they dream reflects the desires, fears, anxieties, pleasures of all of us.

Sleepers and Dreamers takes us on a voyage from the normal world into the distant, inaccessible world of our sleeping selves. The text for the first section, Sleepers, is by Sarah Manguso. The second section, face=CenturySchoolbook,Italic>Dreamers, uses first hand dream accounts from various individuals from different walks of life.

Press Quotes

"Sebastian Currier's Sleepers and Dreamers, impressed as a strong, colorful and ingeniously crafted addition to the contemporary choral-orchestral repertory."
— John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"…a strange and compelling nocturnal landscape for chorus and orchestra centered on dreams … a haunting and atmospheric work, scored with great skill and imagination for orchestra and chorus and resoundingly successful in conjuring the disturbing as well as absurd elements of dreams."
— Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review


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