Dreams is an exploration of places, or rather, ideas of places from a bygone era, through collaboration. They start as handmade collages. They become songs, scenes…destinations of the mind. Each features an original piece of music created by one of our favorite artists, to paint a place we'll never step foot in; regions and countries that are defined in large part by the imagination, far outside the confines of cultural history or accuracy, or even more so, reality. This project is ongoing.
Peripheral maroons, blues, and ecrus stretch beyond the sled's icy spray. Accelerating downward, cascading slope, past cheers, speed's climbing silence.
The children glide through unknown clearance, piercing the cavern, the illustrious halls of Perce Rock illuminated by temporal projections. Witness to their time-lagged descent broadcast onto the arched rock face interior, seeing their locale moments before, as they skim through time, touring new and absolute fantasias.
Dreams of Scotland with Los Angeles Police Department
Words: Dave Sutton & Matthew Sage
A motorik frolick ticks with the reed-winded breaths of this joyous, light-headed land. The clocktower, the castle. The steamers and pipes. They take much of it, the air. Though just enough remains for the delirious, depleted to dash, in a laugh, down a narrow mountain pass, or perhaps, have a gas, dodging gaff's upon the bonnie banks.
A gaggle of teenagers twist to the ticks, above the bridge, with no certainty nor urgency, levitating slightly. Happiness is happiness in monotony. The clocktower, winding up the depleted and playing them out, over and over. Its hands reaching, for not much more than a minute before recoiling back where they first reached. The youths respond routinely with their gasping grins, like clockwork, as does the sky, the hour's perpetual gold.
Sweet Nelita emerges, entering the harbor, the docks trembling beneath the domes of stationary clouds. A foreign feature upon Lisbon's bay, the figurine, the stoic tiger, the papery pearl aloft the Atlantic.
Great shakes continue to oscillate the hills. Dust and debris, seismic circles surround Rossio Square. A city, quaking, radiant, since its first stone was laid.Pedestrians look on from their trodden and tremulous promenade, nearly slipping into the sea.
Behind Nelita, amidst the lightly tossing tidal blue, a glassy wake trails aft, muted, as dormant as the tiger's treasure.
Through the arched opening, dazzling from the grasps of the unwavering masts, this strange and sober payload emanates: a new stillness, imported.
Swept out a calligrapher's window to the end, to a cart en route to the dock, cargo for the open sea. A letter, now in the hands of Haiti, the findings of a crowd. Together they read:
Dearest Little World,
With a heart equally heavy & free, I must relay to you my imminent departure. At once & with permeance (sic), with the sun as it delaminates indefinitely beyond le massif des montagnes. Alas, no ship is able to fare me, nor sugar cane sweeten me, nor contention shuttle me to your embraces; a tidal, a mind's conflicted chagrin & elation, a fugue on the shores of some concealed amnesia.
The men stood blankly, under many moons and across much blackness, for her presence to indeed permeate. Ultimately, her consonants had been misplaced… her being very much departed.
The world's slowest elevator. A bizarre attraction, this lift, slowly lifting. It wasn't the lift that drew the curious far outside the City of Fair Breezes to this modern alpine locale, it's what the lift was rumored to do. That obscure purpose, no one quite knew.
There it stands, a tremendous building—even more tremendous than expected—its edges softened only by the rose gardens bleeding outward, to the pasture's end. El Edificio, eye to eye with the mountains.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen."
The bellman's teeth, in that instant, share the exact sparkle with a glass of wine as it fills just beyond his shoulder, through the foyer, out the window. "To the top?"
The elevator door closes and the bellman vanishes, as do the walls, liquefying, cerulean in tint.
All along the blurred terra, trees sway as if fastened to a seafloor. Stillness, to the unfocused eye, though time is always moving. As are the vantages, and the subjects: glaciers flatten to lakes, horses assume human shapes, roaming. No size is certain. No scene is complete. They press the button.
Doors part on a valley, they exit, now spectators, as another party enters above. Themselves, before again, at another moment, in a tinted fantasia, in an instant.
Watching as the group ascends the aquatic shaft, passing again themselves—in their separate descent.
The City of Fair Breezes, as before it was again yesterday.
Dreams of Bermuda with Cuddle Formation & Emily Reo
Words: Dave Sutton & Matthew Sage
The snap of twigs and huff and puff of young lungs stumbling down the winding island trail. A girl leans into the sea-spray, securing her clips against the breeze. Whispering, the water falls, concealing the quartz cave, they trace along the familiar place. They wander for hours, tip-toeing around nests full of eggs, ceasely flicking the specks of pollen floating in the air. Dashing through the Moon Gate, beyond the crystal clearing, to the turquoise fishing holes, to the foreboding fountains of old. Oleander shrubs shimmy/shake it, dishing bouquet high-fives to the uptight stalagmites, left hanging. Those stones aren't down, too priggish, dismissive. The eucalyptus knows, and boos and hisses.
By the hole, this pool, a sudden fountain. Slurp, the gang ages. Sagging laughter and the comic abundance of crease. Giggle at the new found flubber jiggle. "Look you guys! Look how our skin can wiggle!" Rollicking and splashing in the basin. One boy tips his hat, dips his jaw, and spurts a squirt at chronology. His dentures slip, prehensile tongue flicking them against the clock's face: sand in the hour glass laughs like a newborn granddad.
With a sigh, the lights at Comet Manor commence dimming to darkness, room by room, southbound in succession. Along the path until the last volt vanishes; a skipped stone across the bay, lost in the rings of the Milky Way.
With the world switched off, the search proceeds. The muted forest, the mirrored lake, the moon-hued hills: the ordinary textures of an English countryside flourishing, the morose well of teary eyes in twilight.
With hopeless urgency, dogs following the scent of an unknown. Men follow the dogs. Something trails the men, and their hounds, relentlessly, hidden in the cobalt shadows. A sun's rays could never know this loss, this place, this pursuant.
Boats slowly migrate past her, symmetrically toward the southern bank of the River Liffey. Lamps skirt the perimeter. A well-dressed commotion populates the promenade. She stops and turns, tracing what shifts behind…
The drawbridge lifts and the vista splits, inverting the town's grandeur with the fanciful edge of the riverside. The Round Tower's nest invades peppermint hills. The diamond-shaped fleet crosses the pleat.
A rare tableau in her periphery: reflections wave to one another, necklaces dangle rightside down, a policeman drops a cigar to the fire chief, a cyclist recognizes his counterpart coasting casually against the grade.
The men and women of leisure shift about, a parasol fleet pinwheeling over the statues. Good-intentioned pleasantry for the cafe folk, though ultimately a vain attempt to reset the sun's dial: a hand-fan in a heatwave. Striding clockwise, their movements catalyze mutation in unison, synched to a telepathic beat… a flamboyant, molecular jam.
The iron masses charge into motion. Off their pedestal stasis, stallions and all, they zig-zag beyond the palm frond canopies, adding one last ceremonious brim-tip to South America's own twisted Riviera.
Filling every cast of the veranda, bending every branch toward a smile, her voice greets the entrance of night. The drapes luff…
…the winding, narrow-terraced streets of Alger la Blanche idle beyond the window, a muted bloom. If not for this curtain's dancing, that exquisite hum tracing the hillside, he thought, we'd be adrift in the middle of the Mediterranean.
And with another lapse of heavy lids: they are an island, untucked, reclining at sea… until the dawn converges.
Moons rest low enough to touch. Everything; all walls and walkways, even the luminescent spheres themselves, porcelain.
Men wander the labyrinth of labyrinths of labyrinths, peaking in and out of corridors. Passing the same markets again and again and again… they pick up telephones, only to meet the vacant hiss of the exiled. Omnipresent mantras tangle in the shadings of stone and menacing branches.
They find doors within doors within doors, confronting interiors far larger than spatial reasoning would suggest. Beyond one frame, a desert fortress overlooks the Dead Sea at high noon, a panning mirage. Inside another, the scene repeats from the opposite vantage, hours later, glistening under moons partially submerged in salt. Through the next, a threshold brightens at dawn, clearing the fortress and the sea overhead, its reflection cycling from speck to surge—cumalitively, again, rippling porcelain without end.
Dreams of Alberta with Cemeteries & Foxes in Fiction
Words: Dave Sutton & Matthew Sage
Four worlds expand over separate easels and outwards, selectively intertwined by the unknown—this constant, revolving sense of consideration.
A manor constructed over a reservoir, its residents accept life at an aqueous tilt. Two tribes peel Mount Victoria from the water's edge, its range perpetually snow-capped, sapphire blues overlap. Badlands collapse into boreal forest and back again; horses gallop above the timberline; a man repels through time, reading the eons, meter by meter.
Eyes between canvas and cliff, she watches him, wondering what other accents of hers might appear and which may fade. Like the seasons, but more sporadic, she thought, like emotions.
Two skies meet at the indigo hour. The rails of the infinite staircase edged—one sky pale blue, the other crimson—swirling upwards to the margin. Walls vanish, and bathers flock to the yawning mouth of Ganges River.
Knowing the eclipse is near, Scorpio dashes across the marble terrace. Unnoticed, as mosaic pillars flash, he swipes the sacred reliquary.
Each ascending step brings him further from the city, closer to the gods—he hopes. Glancing back, down, one last time; a hundred spires line the horizon. Scorpio laughs in a fit of victory, twisting ahead again to face his new universe, and, to his surprise, its wrath. With a single brush of the sun, his vapor paints the air in a howl.
Chandeliers shatter into sequins, all coiled up in a whirlwind—a mambo of sun-kissed confetti.
Swans grace the rooftops in code. Minds switched on and hearts full, lovebirds glide over an ultraviolet avenue, their wings skimming a fountain of chrome.
Echoing out from the streets, in washes and tumble-drums, a promise unlocked and set to roll about the archways of Havana: "One day I'll have a million words to explain, some day I will love you in every way…"
Proportion does not exist here; where shapes are known to change, and avatar-reincarnates blaze with radiance, delicately fetching whole mountainsides. Where the inanimate are granted life if the wind, as it arcs across, strikes just right.
A draft curved over the many shoulders and heads cluttering the quaint shop. Greeting this, the keeper arranged her orchestra from memory. Lining the circle: the outermost rows of children, further in, the eldest men, and at the center, an empty space. Without instruments, the youngest ones simply joined the crickets, humming. Others brushed against pipes and poured cups of sand from side to side.
Lanterns flickered…candles sputtered. And with one last blink came two eyes, exceptionally round, expressive, framed by the darkness alone.
Snap. A flute's groove dazzles through the canyon, its walls now breathing a fiery brown and green.
Snap. The great celestial lid pops off, giving way to broad strokes of purple and rose.
Each snap from the giant hand sends another piece of the Republic heating wildly out of grayscale. Every creature within reach of the kaleidoscopic call responds. The zebras are the first to act; their tails wrapped to one another, they leap in unison—out of their two-toned suits for good.
"Come on down," people sing from the building tops. Gravity be damned, the crystal balls won't fall, the whole show floats.
On any square of the calendar, Angel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, drew the eyes of hundreds. Deservingly so. But today it moved differently, vibrating like the strings of a harp—clouded, as if rethinking the pace of its own flow. One could say it had been interrupted.
Down below, the people reacted to the rumblings in far less harmony; a siren sounded, cueing most to flee. Still, from the bridge a small crowd looked on as darkness overtook the crest of the tallest mountain. Above it emerged the cause of this eclipse, something no person at that distance could quite define.
In a slow, mesmerizing descent, the structure carved across the countryside, denting sheets of land with ease. And with under a mile to go, and among the last inches of daylight, the silhouette finally took shape. A mast grew, and out from each opening of this incomprehensible vessel, arms dangled elongated and sinewy, their glow bouncing off Angel Falls and into the dusk.
Sailing again; doing anything else was a foreign notion. Even from his perspective—easily pleased within the right company, and nearly colorblind—the dog understood.
He wasn't able to see the details his master so closely admired—the way emerald leapt from the mountainside, the way cyan bounced off the ship masts, or how gold momentarily engulfed the city, which, as the days came to their close, would sink directly into the horizon, drowning its noise for the night.
True, the dog wasn't able to recognize that.
To him, it was all heard in chimes and muffled cracks, like bells in the foreground and fireworks in the distance. A symphony of confusion.
To him, it was all seen in grey chaos. A warped mirror held against the dark, brackish water.
This version of that magic was the only kind he knew, and the Baltic Sea approved.
He didn't know exactly why his parents had chosen Blue Lake…something about how deeply blue it was. Details beyond that weren't particularly interesting to an adolescent mind; the sound of scenery had its way of going unnoticed, especially when drowned out by the melody of laughter emanating from the forest—one which he proceeded to follow as his family set up camp.
The setting sun cut the forest at a slant; a mist crept past the treetops. The feint laughter glided in and out of range; behind branches shined her eyes. She ran in spurts, occasionally slowing to see if he'd kept up. The chase was steady—an eternity, he thought.
At a clearing she stopped. Tall blades of grass met each of their shoulders, which had now finally aligned. And before them an oddly matted patch waited on the ground. Without words the two laid flat, their breath seeping into the stars above which had begun to dot the sky. She reached up and traced the hunter and his bow, then gestured the effect of an arrow's pierce. The horizon followed the motion of her hand as if by command, widening until Blue Lake had become fully wrapped in black. And from its gash poured out an impossibly neon aurora.
The Ryokan was fairly unassuming from the outside—a slate archway wrapped over a small garden, aged and dimly lit in comparison to the larger, flashier villas on each side. But it had come recommended: "the best views in all the land," promised an elderly man. The phrase cycled through his head, growing louder and more perplexing as he toured the quaint one-story inn. Every window faced out onto another dwelling. He could find no view to complement what the man had said. Nonetheless, there was a warmth here and he welcomed it, as he was far from home now. He knew not what had brought him back to the town of his youth, but he trusted the tailwinds.
"This is fine, thank you."
He entered the room and within seconds had dropped his bags in awe. Each wall was framed in perfect symmetry by paintings, which breathed richly into the natural light, infusing the air's dust with a spectrum of color.
On the wall to his left, a rice field; the lavenders striking an odd iridescence with his every step. To his right, a snow-capped mountain range, so well defined he almost believed it to be coated in frost. And straight ahead, a pond bridged by stones, just like the ones he leapt across as a boy.
This was Japan as he remembered it, inviting him in. With little hesitation, he stepped onto the closest pebble, then to the next one, and then the next one…
She had seen the Chilean coast before, though only in paintings, then dreams. She'd seen his face as well, it seemed, in fleeting glimpses or in the tides of a reverie. Now closer, inside an actual moment, from a chair on a terrace near the water's edge, neither the coast nor his features were entirely true to form—better, in fact, to her delight.
The tables had been cleared. And one by one the guests were swaying themselves into dusk. Spectres of spirit animals trailed behind.
Diagonally from across the courtyard, clouded in his own smoky exhales, the man had seen her too. He wondered what spell made her so radiant—the night's glow, the way it softened her in pastels; the ocean's slow breath, how it conversed with her own.
By now the waiters had traded their trays for guitars, their ponchos laced with bells, their tip jars rattling, their dance one of courtship, the Cueca as they knew it. And by night's end, the man would swap his seat with a hawk, she with a dove, and together they would fly over the long, narrow, enchanted nation.
The clouds seemed to twist like trails from the hills, mirroring the dozens that spilt up from the countryside, as if to outline a gateway to some sun-dialed utopia just off the map and out of reach. This higher ground hinted at was indeed sacred, and while it lay miles away, its presence could be felt in the heart of town, in the people—stitched into the songs they sang and fabrics they wore—its energy as heavy as the altitude itself.
In a row stood three men, porters by trade. Behind two of them, shadows.
"I could show you how those mountains got there," came from the shadowless one.