I’ve been rather ill this week and I ended up last night dreaming all night about ethnomusicology.

Now that I am more awake I have a moment to describe these dreams. First off I walk into a huge rectangular upper balcony, like the ones movie theaters used to have and the seats are filled with musicians. They pull out something that looks like a brass spoon with a black horn handle and they all start blowing on the spoons. The sound is reedlike, a bit like Japanese Gagaku.

I am watching from a side box connected to this. We are waiting for the arrival of giant trumpets blown by people wearing feathered outfits looking like Quetzalcoatl, but sounding sort of Tibetan. There are people speaking a language that sounds like Quiché Maya.

Presently a group of science fiction fans enters my box and one has a bag of refreshments. She's a thin, blonde woman and reminds of a friend from Cambridge, Priscilla Roberts (who is not actually a science fiction person). She hands me the bag and I reach in. They look like little plastic bags of seedless grapes, but suddenly I realize they are actually crocuses.

Later that night night, I dream about listening to an impressive African male voice choir while listening to a dry, teutonic professor lecture about African music.

He's explaining about how high all their singers are, and he has a chart on a blackboard, with tenor, baritone, bass, etc and with a pointer shows us that each of the ranges goes higher than top C.

Later I'm walking with the professor through a Grecian rotunda including a building that resembles the Jefferson Memorial in DC. I say to him, "But going to school in England, we were always taught that African male choirs had more low notes."

"Ach ja," says the professor, "I can exzplain dat ferry easily. Ze English already have countertenors, so they were not impressed by high notes. And zey were mostly in South Africa, where the voices are lower."

It's an odd dream because the professor is a sort of parody of those German professors during the Third Reich who had cranial charts to show how certain ethnicities were more savage....

I didn't wake up until 1:06 pm from this long night of dreaming about all sorts of world music. I've been down with a bad cold all week, but I didn't take any weird drugs before going to bed, so I can't blame them. I feel remarkably refreshed. I also feel like I've been on a real musical journey around the world, like I've really travelled from Mexico to Africa and so on. It's quite extraordinary.