Adjustable Music: DIVERSITY & INDEPENDENCE

THE DREAMER AND THE DREAM (THE Story Behind the Suite)

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'THE DREAMER AND THE DREAM'

as told by Bruce Henninger, percussionist for AVALON USA

 

(SWAMPFIRE)

It started with a dream.

Actually, it all began way before the dream, years before, in the

mind of a man the dreamer had never met. You would probably know the

place he made, but I can't name names (copyright laws can be such

messy affairs). Suffice it to say that our dreamer dreamed himself

into his own version of this place, drawn by the comical, friendly

innocence and simplicity of the inhabitants of this land.

A nice place to visit, butAs the dreamer quickly discovers, there

is an unwritten law against leaving this land - which might not have

presented any problem, were it not for the fact that unheard wears

the appearance of one of these mythical folk, and none of them have

guessed that he is actually a stranger among them.

Time for a modicum of subterfugethe dreamer conspires with himself

to play the part thrust upon him, while at the same time laying

plans for a quiet, unnoticed getaway, so as not to disrupt the

harmony of this dreamland. But as they say (who are they?), the best

laid plans may burn your bridges in a pig's eye his scheming is

discovered, and the dreamer must fell toward the edge of

consciousness, seeking to wake up before all hell breaks loose.

Some of the town's most prominent citizen's pursue this new fiend

that has shown itself to be in their midst; perhaps they're not

quite sure of what they are doing -

-and then the dreamer wakes up. But the dream, now tainted with

reality, continues

The dream creatures have chased him to the end of a swampy lake: the

line between dream and

reality. Trapped, the half-awake dreamer supplies his dream self

with a gun and the dream-folk

grind to a halt in disbelief, for they recognize that this

particular weapon, forged by a partly wakeful

mind, is thoroughly capable of killing them - a jarring realization

for the beings who would otherwise

immortal, to whom death is unknown, talked about but never

experienced, for how can dreams die?

The dreamer, who was basically a pretty all-around decent type of

fellow at he start of all this,

Implores them to understand that he doesn't belong there, that he

doesn't want to hurt anyone

But must be allowed to leave. The dream-folk can do nothing to stop

him at this point; the power

Of the impending reality is too strong. A boat has appeared at the

shore, a simple wooden rowboat.

The dreamer steps into it and pushes off, and still the dream

creatures are reluctant to let him leave,

for they know that when he finds wakefulness, he will cease to

exist. Sure enough, as the boat moves

far offshore, an enormous face rises from the water to confront the

dreamer: it is the face of the real

person that he is. Face and dreamer both vanish. The dream-folk turn

and head back for home;

They can't say they didn't try

(BRIEF RETURN)

You'd think he would have learned after all that, but some time

later, the dreamer returns to this

place, unable to keep himself away. He wears the same shape as on

his last visit, and the dream-folk

recognize him for what he is. They still remember his first stay

among them, and they are fearful of

what he might do further. Struck irrational panic, these normally

peaceful, fun-loving creatures

decide this stranger must die. A rope is strung from a tree atop a

small hillock, and the noose slipped

around the dreamer's neck not exactly the perfect way to end a

pleasure trip. Just before our hero

is set to danger, one of the most highly-regarded and gentle of the

dream-folk comes forward and tells the

dreamer that it doesn't have to be this way, that maybe together

they can make the others understand that

this need not happen. The dreamer responds that perhaps this is for

the best: he doesn't want to keep

coming back to this place and causing so much unrest, and maybe if

he's hanged he'll return to this land

never more. The block is kicked, the rope snaps taut, and for the

first time, death has come to this mythical

world. The body hangs for a long time, silhouetted by the setting

sun; the dream-folk, shocked by what

they have don, cannot bring themselves to cut it down.

Their world will never be the same again.

But this is not the worst of it all, for something far more terrible

has happened: the dreamer wakes up to

the real world remembering this indignity to his dream self.

(JUGGERNAUT)

Each of us has many facets to our personalities, and almost

everybody possesses within them the

capacity for both great good and great evil. So much for the deep

psycho-babble: unfortunately for

the dream-folk, the remembrance of all that has been described here

has a profound effect upon the

dreamer's dark side. He once again enters the mythical place of

dreams, but this time in the aspect

of the JUGGERNAUT, a dark spirit of violence and fury. perhaps the

dreamer is not fully aware

of what is playing out on the stage of his subconciousness, but he

has armed the JUGGERNAUT

with the power to kill the immortal dream-folk as they once killed

his own dream journeyer.

The JUGGERNAUT arrives in the guise of a friendly old man, his true

purpose carefully hidden, and

comes to live among them for a long time, winning their trust and

confidence. After a year or so,

paper signs suddenly appear all over the town,, announcing the

impending arrival of a most unusual

carnival: PANDEMONIUM REVIEW, promising "twelve nights of excitement

and terror". Shortly

thereafter, the first of the dream-folk dies.

JUGGERNAUT singles out the one among them who physically most

closely resembles the shape worn by

the dreamer on his first two prior visits. The other dream-folk

discover him one morning, hanging by the

neck from the very same tree from which the dreamer had been hanged.

The rope was made partly of

dark reality, causing the victim to be killed. The townsfolk are

uncertain of what to make to make of

their discovery, but as yet none can guess that the twelve nights of

terror have begun.

The second victim is the overly-righteous blind man, a solitary

meddler who is always trying to stick his

nose into the affairs of others. The JGGERNAUT ties him up and sets

fire to the blind mans home

but a special kind of fire: one that can burn dream flesh, and kill.

On the third night, the JUGGERNAUT accosts three small tramps,

brother hobos, and nails them

through their hearts, side by side upon the wood of their home.

On the fourth, it is the village beauty queen, a true Mademoiselle,

who meets her sweet end drowned

and sealed into a barrel of perfume.

On the fifth, the town's Deacon, partner in overly-moral crime to

the now-deceased blind man, is

crucified upon his parish wall, impaled through his hands and chest

by three sharpened iron crosses.

With each successive murder, the Juggernauts power grows, and his

victims grow more helpless to

stop him.

The town grump, who is actually rather well-liked, is put to slow

death by the insertion of the poisoned

needles of a porcupine, while the unofficial constable is

skeletonized in an acid bath, his bones then

propped up within his uniform in front of his abode - a mocking slap

at law and order.

The town matchmaker, a bitchy spinster, is locked into a lethal iron

maiden, a spear-lined sarcophagus;

the shopkeeper, universally known as a miserly money-grubber, has

his eyes gouged out and replaced

by two rolled-up five-dollar bills; another of the dream-folk is

skinned; and the resident

scientist/philosopher, who has always made a big deal over how smart

he is, is found with his brain

cut out and pickled in a jar of formaldehyde.

In all of this, the dream-folk never once guess that their murderer

is the kindly old man living among

them, who can transform himself at will into the destroyer of the

innocence.

On the twelfth night the JUGGERNAUT goes to the home of his final

victim, the town fool.

But the fool has a friend with him, and the two are protecting one

another. The fool's friend happens

to be the same one who came forward when the dreamer was about to be

hanged, extending a hand of

compassion and understanding: this one the JUGGERNAUT will not kill.

Nevertheless, the

JUGGERNAUT came for death, and pushes the friend aside. As the

murderous demon shatters the

fool's breastbone with one savage blow, the helpless dream creature

utters the only two words that could have saved him: "I'm sorry." Having recognized that all the

suffering visited upon them was in response to their hanging the dreamer in the first place, he seeks to

apologize for the wrong committed by him and

his fellows.

The JUGGERNAUT stands back, this apology has destroyed his ability

to destroy. Handling a vial of white powder to the friend, he tells him to pour it into the fool's wound.

The friend is suspicious of the one who has killed so many of his companions, and asks why the

JUGGERNAUT doesn't do it himself. The JUGGERNAUT explains that he was made only to destroy, and that it is beyond his power to cure.

Reluctantly the friend does as he is told, and the fool is saved.

Revealing himself as the old man, the JUGGERNAUT tells them that he

is going now, and advises them that that such horrors need never happen again, so long as

friendship and trust is extended to all future visitors to their dream world. The JUGGERNAUT leaves the land, his dark powers exhausted and final victim spared, one happy ending in the midst of the holocaust.

(PLAYING POSSUM)

But there will be more happy endings here, and undoubtedly more unhappy ones as well, as this dreamer

and others return to this place. A dream is a private thing, and only can be know to one person; but when

the dream is shared, as this one has been, it belongs to all of us.

This particular dreamer and his JUGGERNAUT have acted out their atrocities on the stage of one man's

mind: a harmless flight of fancy. But who is to say that he won't return to his dream to undo the damage

done to the dream-folk? For that matter, why wait at all? The door to this fantasy will open just as easily for

you...or you, or you. If you don't like the way things have gone here, change them to fit yourself.

Dream your own dream; no one can stop you.

It's all up to you.