Para-Somnus

for Voice and Cello

Text by Henry Sturm
When my lids drop,
Black and Blue is the shade
Of a new plane. Not much is known
Here, but I still feel.

In art and song, the dream has historically been presented from a mystical perspective. However, my interest lies in the physiological and neurological aspects of dreams. For this reason, the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Cycle, the point in sleep where dreams occur, is the focus of this piece. The structure of this song is derived both from various polysomnographs of a natural REM cycle, as well as descriptions of the physical changes that occur during dreams.

This piece was commissioned by the American Festival for the Arts for their Alumni Commission Concert held in the Summer of 2014.

Matthew Roorda, Baritone
Lucas Button, Cello