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According to legend, a Dreamcatcher has the power to catch and hold good dreams while keeping bad dreams at bay. In the Southwestern United States, Native Americans often have hung them by the bed of a child to discourage nightmares and assure them a sound and peaceful sleep.

It is intriguing enough that the legend suggests that dreams can be captured at all, but it also infers that the dreams have an independent existence of their own. It is as though dreams were floating through psychic space looking, or perhaps waiting, for someone to fall asleep in order to find a realization of their own existence.

The experience of improvisation is very much like taking part in an interactive dream. The act of playing the instrument both unlocks and realizes the dream, as if it has been waiting for you to begin. Recording the music catches the dream in its digital web. As in the legend, the improvisation seems to have a life of its own. Musicians talk about their instruments “playing themselves.” Often one of the keys in learning to improvise involves the idea of allowing the improvisation to take its own form, in its own time. It often seems as if the musician is not creating the music so much as he is allowing the music to recreate him. He becomes a “medium” for the music, for the Dream.

Free Improvisation, unlike most jazz and other improvised music, is totally without preconception. Absolutely nothing is planned ahead of time. It is sometimes called “real-time composition,” but this is a misnomer. Any sense of musical structure is purely an illusion. It is truly music of the moment, in the present tense. It evolves from itself, its only inspiration is its initial musical gesture. But that very first note taps into an inner spirit which shapes and holds the musical language according to its own ebb and flow. The thrill of following this spirit is what brings a musician back again and again to his instrument. This is the Dream.


released December 7, 1998

Glenn Stallcop, piano, composer
Album art by The Production Room, Tucson, Arizona


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Glenn Stallcop Phoenix, Arizona

Glenn Stallcop is a composer, pianist, and a long-time double bassist with the Phoenix Symphony. He has recorded many albums of piano improvisation over the last 20 years. He is a well-established composer with over 100 published works for orchestra, chamber music and vocal works, solo piano and double bass. ... more

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