Learning Wisdom

Last night I dreamed that I was being dragged off to be beheaded. It was the time of King James Sixt and I. I'm being dragged down some stone steps set into the pavement of an ancient square.

"I'm innocent!!" I scream. "At the very least you must spare me until after my concert. I have a very important concert for the King." A magistrate releases me, but shows me the list of charges against me which are numerous, on a scroll, illustrated with illuminations like a mediaeval manuscript.

The first of the charges is corruption, but the list goes on which some very anachronistic ones including something to do with the intellectual property rights of Apple Watch software. The final charge is that I have been, as a judge, vicious and capricious in judgment.

The magistrate agrees to free me and to let me exercise my duties as a judge, pending a big concert in July which I have to conduct, and pending a possible pardon from King James. But a remarkable thing happens, and the magistrate is the first to note it, as he begins spying on my judgments. I appear to gone from a cruel judge to a veritable Solomon.

I stand on some steps beneath some Greek columns and petitioners are queuing up One is represented by an advocate and requests "a name change that we may marry." The name is Kelley or Kellesy. I say, "And which of my judgments would be more advantageous to the petitioner?" Making the advocate smile (he is blond with short hair in a grey-white tunic.) The threat of decapitation has clearly made me a changed man.

At length they bring a boy who apparently has his shirt on backwards. He's awkward, a bit plump,with a blond crew cut, and his back is exposed but he so misshapen that I think his back is his front at first. He is the son of a prominent lord. His back is pitted with tiny red holes. I cannot see what can have caused them.

He lifts his ill-fitting shirt and I see his front is the same. "It is my father," he says, "for when he beats me, he insists that the club be combined with a thistle." It is this thorny cudgeling that has twisted the boy's shape.

"I dare to bring him to justice," I tell him. "The threat of execution has made me understand your suffering. I do not fear his high position. I shall listen to your petition against him."

Then I wake up.

1,800 Euros

My dream ... oh! oh! I am i a studio watching some kind of screening of a wild production of Cosi fan Tutte ... with Japanese subtitles. Although it doesn't look familiar, I know it is a production I myself directed and it is very avant-garde.

There is a cnotroller with no rewind, but a push a button that looks like "play again" and it appears to play a completely different video now, It's me, climbing up a huge ladder, screaming in German, "something like "mich fühlen!!!" I am climbing and climbing. There are other scenes too, scenes I do not recognize.

Suddenly, I am on a park bench in a European street and a man comes and sits next to me (the screening is still going on. It shows me going to unfamiliar places, strange hotels.) The man seems to know me. He's young and English looking with curly, dirty blond hair. 

I say "This footage is our tour of Europe from 2015. I didn't even know someone made a documentary. The production of Cosi is so well edited. Look, there's me climbing a window." He laughs, remembering it (I do not remember,) We watch a while longer and I keep trying to remember the guy who seems to have been on the tour with us, but I simply cannot place him.

Finally I walk over to the counter (we are in some kind of office.) I am thinking of renting the video and making a copy. I say, "How much to rent the video?"

A man (with an undefined European accent) says to me, "Ah, but to rent THAT video is very, very expensive. I would say ... one thousand eight hundred euros." 

"But that's impossible" I say. "I should have received a free copy of this in the first place. Look through it, it's nothing but me. The producers must have promised to give me a oopy and just forgot."

The man just smiles and says, "1,800 Euros."

I wake up.

The Secret Room


I had a really important dream that refers back to a dream I had many years ago and maybe many times over the years. In the former dream, I am wandering through a corridor that oonnects my house with an older, ruined, house and I find a secret room. 

In tonight's dream, we are about to throw some kind of gala or party with a banquet and white tablecloths on round tables. On my way to the banquet I open a door and suddenly I am in that secret room which I know I've seen before in previous dreams. Only it is being used. It has been fixed up and there is a whirring air conditioner and low sofas. It is a low room, too low to stand up in, but the center rises to a peak, like an attic, enough to have a comfortable set of sofas.

My father and my sister Pinky are there sharing white wine. I am happy to have found the room which I know so well.

I return to the other side of the house to tell my mother, who is sitting in a step-down larder or parlour. I tell her all about the room and say it is a shame that it was found, because I wanted to make it into my Egyptian room ... I can see the planned furnishings in my mind which include a golden statue of the sky goddess Nut. I also say, it could have been a secret crash pad for guests. 

I decide to return to the banquet via the secret room, but instead I am in a corridor and to my right is a dark wooden staircase that forks into a balcony where there are two rooms, one ahead and one behind. The room ahead is covered with dark carved wooden panelling and the door has wooden columns on either side carved like twisting serpents. The vision of the room gives me shiver even now as I awaken.

But suddenly, I run into an old friend. He is a teenager with long blond hair and though I am now old, he has not changed. I embrace him and I call him Dennis, and say I am so glad to see him. 

I can't overstress that this seems to be a direct continuation of a dream perhaps decades old.

Lost in the Department Store

I had a very interesting dream. I was finishing off some kind of performance. Theater was on a hill. When I came down the hill, the German ambassador's wife and son were waiting for me in a pick up truck and she said "we must go, we must go." I said, "but I am looking for my mother." Suddenly, I was transported to the time I was four years old. I was lost in Vroom & Dreesman, a department store in The Hague. I started screaming, "mommy mommy," in the voice of a small child. I had a feeling of incredible desperation. Then I woke up.

Needle of the Eye

I had a dream in which I and my companion, a woman, not sure if she is a lover or an accomplice, discover that we have blundered into an alternate universe. Everything and everyone has different relationships and feels very strange. We are wearing medieval clothing. But the building we are in is modern.

My friend says this is because of the Queen's baby. What do you mean? I say. She said, We must sneak into the room where the baby sleeps. And we must reach the baby's Eye. 

The baby sleeps in a very high story of a skyscraper. The penthouse I think. We find the baby's crib. This is what we must do says my companion, pulling out a hypodermic needle. Peering over the edge of the crib, I see that the child cannot be seen directly. An inflatable plastic cushion covers his face and on this cushion is depicted a single eye. My friend stabs the needle into the eye, injecting a magical fluid.

Suddenly we know that reality has shifted and we are back to our true selves. We hear the queen, outside the door, asking about her baby. My friend waves the needle and it turns into a long cigarette with a cigarette holder. She flourishes it in the air and smokes it and we walk out onto the veranda.

As I stand on the balcony overlooking a huge metropolis, there are many purple skyscrapers. Suddenly they turn different colors and different styles, switching between art deco and something more modern.

I wake up.

Composer's Conference

I had a curious dream. I was at some kind of composers conference or gathering. We all have to contribute a piece of music. My piece was I think dashed off. They were sitting around discussing it. They couldn't understand some of the directions.

Somebody said what does this mean? The direction was perform half of a hashed tag. I said well just think of any hash tag, and half perform it. What do you mean half a soprano asked. Oh never mind I said just sing anything. 

They all started to ridicule the piece and another singer said to me it actually really isn't very good is it. But I had already started to compose another piece in my head. So I said, I'm going to switch out the piece. I wanted to begin with simple triplet D major arpeggios in the strings when I saw that there were only two string players but I knew I could make a clarinet Play one of the parts. Then I knew that I could place two sopranos on top and they would sing a peculiar winding atonal melody. The atonal canon would twist in and out above the tonal accompaniment.

I became oblivious to their taunts as I started to compose the new piece which I could see every note of clearly in my head. At this music unfolded in my mind, I woke up.


In my dream it's during the Safavid Empire and I'm leading a huge rebellion against some Shah or other. It's a splendid dream with battle scenes and spectacular Persian dress, cast of thousands. I lose the battle and I am dragged before my nephew, a sweet and delicate teen, who apparently as a test of his loyalty must order me beheaded. We sit on coaches having a tender and loving last meal and then I am led off to my execution.... then I wake up.


In my dream last night, it was definitely what you'd call an "anxiety" dream. I'm in a long corridor manning a ticket counter for a performance of my opera THE SNOW DRAGON and there's a growing queue of people behind me. I have a list of preorders. One of them is Witaya Tumornsoontorn and I can't find his name. Finally I realize someone has misspelled his name as WEASEL (all caps) and clumsily erased it and his own name is much fainter. "Don't worry," I tell him. "You have an E-ticket anyway and you can go straight in."

Thing is, this is a long narrow corridor and the door at the end which leads to the lobby of the theatre is latched and the queue is getting longer. I force the door open and march through the lobby into the theatre to tell them they can't start yet because the audience is trapped in this massive queue.

But in the theatre which is only half full and doesn't have proper theatre seats, just the plastic-cushion dinner chairs you find in office supply stores, there is a film going on, some kind of business presentation. 

Back of theatre, an open bar is doing great business. I go up to the bar and give them my message, and they serve me a drink.

The Shaman Who Fixed Dreams

Many dreams last night which I only remember snatches. The last one was about A girl who I meet in her store. She is a shaman who fixes peoples dreams. She tells me that she must fix the princesses dreams because the princess is not dreaming right. She tells me that where she comes from dreams are just as real as the real world. We are in the shop. The shop is bisected with shelving full of brightly colored objects that I cannot identify. Another dream I had tonight was about a huge music competition. There's a boy who switches sides and becomes my spy, doing so by entering the competition venue, making an abrupt left turn after declaring his allegiance to the opposing side, and dotting down a hidden tunnel to where my musicians are. He says he can go back-and-forth and tell me everything about the other people.

I wish I could remember more. There were other dreams too.

Field of Diana

Last night I had performance dreams ... first the orchestra is preparing to perform in the basement of some hotel. A lady takes us upstairs and we find ourselves in a huge shopping mall lobby, but the shops are all closed. She says, "This is the Field of Diana." She takes me up and down twin corridors looking for what is supposedly a well known gay bar, but it is closed. Then in the front of the mall, there is a coffee shop or bar and it too is closed, but the lights start to come on. They are opening specially for us. 

Then I dream that I've been invited to play a cameo at the Met. In it, I am hidden under the front floorboards of the proscenium, which can be opened up like a lid. I emerge magically to present something to the leading lady. 

When the opera ends, they open up the floorboards and I discover I'm missing a golden shoe, and maybe another golden object, perhaps an apple. A boy in a toga peers curiously as I try to retrieve them. I think to myself — this boy has no armpit hair. He scurries off. I think he's one of the three boys from "The Magic Flute." Suddenly I realize that the floorboards are crammed with irretrievable golden shoes and apples from all the people who were asked to do this cameo.

I climb out of the narrow gap and walk into the theatre itself thinking, "What joy! I've performed at the Met!"


I dreamed that after profound meditation on the meaning of existence, I had come to know a sentence that explains everything. I cannot remember the sentence except that contained the tetragram KANT. The word was written on a white grid and was the only sky-blue square. It didn't seem to be in the center of the grid but in the top center. The idea was that the blueness of the square would draw you away and in the end you would concentrate only on that single sentence. Later the same night, I dreamed that the word was either KAZT, or KARM.

My Dream House

Last night I had a dream that can only be described as wish fulfilment. I dreamed that I was moving into a new house. It only cost 20,000 a month in my dream but it was a stunning penthouse. I was looking through the bedroom first. There was an adjoining room so cavernous I was sure I would use it as my office even though it had no windows ... I didn't notice at first it was just a walk-in closet. There was a long corridor and at the far end of the house was another huge living room. It was only the rugs I didn't like — they were sort of fake, but I knew I could move in new rugs from my old home. In this big corner room, Paye Srinarong was playing the violin, He asked me how I managed to get this house for only 20,000 a month.

I left the house briefly and found a complex of other houses and restaurants, all very elegant. When I went back I told the people who were helping me move, "We won't starve here."

I went back to the bedroom. On the way there was an antechamber to the bedroom and I realized the rugs were much better here. There was a blue rug with a Turkish design (according to the dream, but the design was actually Persian) and at the entrance to my bedroom there was another blue rug. "Now THAT one is worth money," I said in the dream, "look at the abrash on it." It was faded but beautiful.

I walked back down the corridor again. Turning left and left again I found a second corridor. It was so narrow I had to navigate it sideways. On my right was just wall but on my right were weird machines behind heavy metal doors. There was also a master fuse box for the entire building. I realized that the entire complex was being run from my penthouse. When I arrived at the other side of the corridor I found a beautiful room with two recessed alcoves on either side of a beautiful inset column. I realized that this room could be the library. It was all done in sky blue. "But where will we have tea?" I was thinking. 

Then I turned and saw on the other side of the corridor a beautiful room with blue Louis XV style chairs arranged in a circle. Why, there is the tea room, I thought. Moving further along, there was an identical room next to it. Perhaps a deeper hue of blue. I said, O good, one room for tea and one as a dining room.

As I woke up I began to realize that 20,000 a month wasn't so cheap; I had been thinking it was Thai baht, but in fact it may have been American dollars....

Anne Frank

In the wee hours this morning I saw Anne Frank in a dream. She was an old woman, but she still had a freshness in her voice, a childlike quality to her demeanor. She said to me very clearly, just as I was waking, "If I had survived the Holocaust, I'd be the same age as your mother today. Remember to tell everyone this isn't something that happened in ancient times. People are still here who were there."

It's almost true. Actually she would be three years older than my mother, but in my dream, the year of the diary was 1947... three years later than the actual events ... and the war was still going on.

It makes me think that the dream came from an alternate reality where history was a little different. Maybe, in that reality, she did survive, and was speaking to me across an intercosmic chasm.

Defining Love

What a dream. I was watching a production of Siegfried. I was watching from a box that overlooked the stage so intimately that I could reach out and touch the singers. It was a somewhat avant-garde production.

The scene is not in the opera as far as I know. Siegfried is being asked to define what love is. The person he was talking to was not a character in the opera, but was some kind of supernatural being such as a dwarf or elf. He starts to sing, in German, "what is this feeling that makes you shudder, tremble, flare up, burst into flame?" These lines are in fact somewhat reminiscent of Mime's description of fear in act one. The music however sounds a little bit like Helen singing about love in the third act of Michael Tippett's King Priam.

As Siegfried sings, he is eating slices of duck and noodles which he removes with chopsticks from a glass cabinet set in front of him, similar to the cabinets found in Chinese noodle shops. There are also dim sum in the cabinet.

As I intently lean over, a chef in a tall hat comes to the front of the stage. To my annoyance he places a large round flan of bread on a cutting board in front of Siegfried. He pours sauce and mincemeat topping over the bread as if he's making a pizza. But then he takes a squeeze bottle of ketchup and squirts it all over the right half of the pizza. The smell rises up and as I'm allergic to it makes me very ill. He folds the pizza. This covers up the ketchup and fixes the smell.

I lean over to my companion at the opera who appears to be the stage designer Stephanie Mielchen. I tell her this kind of thing is completely normal on stage.

Tea with the Earl

Jan 14, 2017 10:07am

I dreamt that I was at a posh party, possibly one thrown by the Earl of Warwick. At this party it wasn't quite clear whether I was one of the guests, or the Butler. In any case, at one point I was being called upon to demonstrate the proper pronunciation of "your majesty". An American lady in a tiara was imitating me without success.

Another guest said to her, "you will never be able to say that because you didn't go to Eton." She began complaining. The guest explained, "you couldn't have gone because only boys went there."

There were some huge glass windows looking out onto the lawn where other guests sat. They were at elegant tables, with white clawed legs, and glass tops. A man in tails with a bushy white beard said to me, through the window, "there are only two Etonians at this party. So why are you the Butler?"

I responded, "I shouldn't be, but as I'm the only miserable Oriental in the room, I'm forced to play the role of a miserable domestic."

"Oh I see" said the bearded man. "Then
You must recall this obscure publication called the unitary papers. This fellow, Broadley Spearley, was a member. They were very controversial."

I was laughing. I said, "oh you must mean Aubrey Beardsley. I remember him well."

"You're that old?" He said

"No no, I don't remember him literally. I studied about it. He was with Byron." (by the way Byron went to Harrow so this was a mistake in my dream.) "They had this publication which was very sexually liberated."

I could see the publication in my minds eye. It was tabloid size, with an illustration of a bright orange flame.

At that point something very crucial happened but now I'm desperately trying to remember it. Then I woke up.

Thais and Turks

So I continued to dream this night, but they were less fantasy and horror. I dreamed I was in a small room in an armchair and to my right, a girl was using a computer. She stood up from her chair and another girl walked into the room (an L shaped room). The other girl said, "I have to watch TV." She breezed in and grabbed the cushion from the chair where the computer girl had risen from, and just sailed out of the room.

Incensed, I follow and there's a small corridor that leads left and opens into a small room where a bunch of girls are all watching TV. Their faces are covered with blankets. I start shouting, "Don't you know she was using that pillow! How dare you! You are a bunch of unmannerly women, not properly brought up!" 

The odd thing was that the whole dream was in Thai, which is unusual for me as English was my first language.

The next dream I had, I was at a Turkish fast food stand trying to order a Soltani (something I've only had in Persian restaurants). I was trying to speak Turkish to the girl behind the counter and wondering whether I should call her "hatun". Then I went round the corner to the men's room. I was telling someone while peeing that I was addicted to this Turkish mini-series. 

Then I woke up....

Everyone Knows

I had an amazing dream. First I was in a bookstore and I was reading a magazine that told that the origins of my fame where in sleazy horror films even though they are all obscure now. It was a strange magazine because the text was in four squares of print instead of two columns. It mentioned my old film "The Laughng Dead" and claimed it had made me a household name after an obscure past.

Then I was standing outside in the night under a lamppost with a guy named Stephen and telling him I read that magazine. I said, "Yes in those days I took any monster job I could get. One time I played a ball of grease in a gas station. I would lie in wait and attack the wheels and gasoline and metal of cars."

As we stood there there was a view of a car with bright headlights along a deserted country road at night. The road had a railing and I think it overlooked an abyss.

"Funny," he said, "there was a gas station like that in my old school. In fact the grease ball monster was well known. Everyone knew to avoid that gas station at night. Only ghosts used it. It was known ... we had one gas station for the dead, and one for the living."

"Yeah," I said, "Everyone knows that kind of thing."

I woke up.

You are Mine

A recurring dream last night in which I am sitting in a restaurant facing a wall. At the next table, there is a family with two children, one of them a baby. It's a small baby, looks like about 1 year old, but we recognize each other. The baby keeps looking at me and smiling and has bright eyes, he's wearing an orange shirt. I say, "I know you. You are mine, but somehow we weren't born in the right place."


I had a dream that I and Mikey were sort of the same person and we (I) was being raised in an orphanage. A murder occurs in the orphanage and we are all assigned a public defender, a plump, dark-skinned guy who talks very loudly. He is dressed in green.

Now Mikey and I are separate people and I'm campaigning to have him get a separate lawyer, and a woman in a white business suit is hired. She is clearly a top laywer. We walk into the courtroom and the accused kids are all being barked at by the dark-skinned lawyer, loudly disturbing the courthouse. So Mikey's lawyer says, "Not him, he as his own counsel." She takes Mikey to a different part of the room which is elevated, with a bar counter, all wood, wooden panels, wood plank flooring.

The other lawyer is perfectly willing to get rid of one of his clients, but there seems to be some resentment.

We all hear that from time to time, the circus comes to the courthouse, but it is legendary; no one has ever seen. But the court calls a recess and suddenly the walls are gone and we are standing in a forest clearing ... only everyone is gone and only Mikey and I are left and now we are the same person again.

Suddenly, running in from the right across our view, the circus does show up. Or is it an army? First there is a troop of mysterious people cloaked from head to toe in turquoise coats, then a band of soldiers in bright red Ottoman Empire clothing, then more and more color-coded regiments. They are all running across what looks like a wooden bridge. I don't see a body of water though, just a sea of leaves.

I (and Mikey) decide to walk forward, to see these people up close. We cross the clearing and enter the forest pathway. They are all standing now, a kind of mediaeval army with knights and lords, very brightly colored, mostly crimsons. They seem hostile, but I begin to sing a national anthem - a cappella - very boldly. It's a militaristic kind of anthem and the words are in a weird language, but the second half is repeated, with triplets decorating the tune. As I walk towards them singing, their hostility becomes acceptance. I wake up.

Railway Station

I had a complex dream sequence last night. First, I was in a magnificent waiting room and I was ushered into the presence of a powerful, richly dressed king. He was seated at a business desk and in the process of writing a check for one million baht. He said to me, "I'm leaving the addressee blank. You can either pay the foundation, or yourself." 

I knew it made no difference because virtually every penny that comes my way somehow ends up working for the foundation anyway .... I woke up. 

When I went back to sleep, I was trying to tell people about my dream (this was in another dream!), but they wouldn't believe me ... not even my mother. 

Then I suddenly found myself in a huge — railway station of some kind — in the company of a group of travelling musicians. We were all journeying towards the place where we would perform. There was a huge communications system in the station with mouthpieces scattered around the station, connected by a system of tubes. They were information systems; you speak into the mouthpiece and an answer comes out.

The musicians have been testing the machine's ability to speak Turkish and they all told me it's not good. "Maybe it's having a problem with your Uighur accent," I tell the main musician who oddly enough appears to be Daniel Draganov who as far as I know speaks German, Czech, and maybe Russian. 

I tell him, "I've picked up some Turkish from watching this miniseries, but it's only useless words like "hünkârim" and I wouldn't have anyone I could actually address as such. Although I've also figured out that çok means 'very'." 

We pass through very narrow alleys. I wonder why we have to walk, why the organizers of the concert didn't send a car. Suddenly the alley opens out and there is an angular grassy slope that leads straight to an ocean of incredible blueness. Our goal is on the opposite shore.

I wake up.