Dreaming of Music

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Thursday April 12, 2018

From The Houston Chronicle

Dream analysis with pianist Brad Mehldau
By: Andrew Dansby

Brad Mehldau dreamed a strange dream about the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Dreams often prove elusive, but Mehldau’s possessed a clarity to accompany its surrealism: Hoffman stood in a room with Mehldau, and the actor read the American Constitution. Perhaps because Mehldau is a pianist and composer, the dream was accompanied by a melody.

‘I woke up and wrote the tune, as has happened on a few occasions ‘” I dream something musically and then try to grab it right away,’ Mehldau says. ‘Not even a week later, he died. I was saddened like many people ‘” I was a big fan. I was also spooked because I had just dreamed about him. It seemed like a message from the future, a portent.’

That’s the story as to how Mehldau came to title his forthcoming album Seymour Reads the Constitution!.

[…] Though After Bach was just released, Mehldau visits Houston this week with his trio. For those shows Mehldau says the trio tours with a group of about 10 songs ‘that are ‘current’ ‘” they have not been recorded yet, and we are playing them live often, almost every night, in a tour.’

They’ll also mix in a few from their deeper repertoire and the occasional left-field surprise, a song ‘we all know but have never played before. So I try to keep a mix between new, comfortable, and spontaneous. In this way we hopefully don’t get locked into an approach that’s too fixed, but also are able to develop material over the course of time and let it grow and bloom.’

The pieces on ‘Seymour!’ are the result of such growth. The mix is intriguing, as always.

Read more here