Musings of a Mesolimbiac


The back story to my improvised piece “May in Mesolimbia” is a long one, and one that is still unfolding for me, but I’ll try to give you the story up ‘til now, if you are interested in hearing it.  In May of 2010 I treated myself to one of my now-yearly seaside composing retreats….ostensibly to jump-start the production process for my next song album and to dig deeper into the new electronic music software I had recently purchased.  When I arrived at the studio apartment I had rented up on Temple Hills Drive in my hometown of Laguna Beach, California, I was thrilled to find a beautifully appointed room with gorgeous granite floors, tables and countertops and full glass windows open towards the canyon, with a partial view to the Pacific, less than a mile to my west.

Yes, the sound was a bit ‘live’ in there with all that stone, but I spent much of the week with headphones on anyway, so as not to disturb my gracious hosts with my all-hours experimenting.  The owners in the main house were a wonderful pair of Laguna eccentrics, she a French photographer, he a sculptor and stone artisan and their friendly, large dog who was very curious about this woman who had come to visit with a station wagon full of wires and strange black metal boxes!

The late spring weather in Laguna was as I remembered it from my childhood. Usually, by mid-morning the fog had rolled out of the canyon and diffused back into the offshore marine layer.  As soon as I could see a line of blue on the horizon, I was off down the hill to the beautiful new pool at my alma mater LBHS (yes, the very same high school of unfortunate cable-TV renown) and I was able to get my water fix.  I love to be able to swim at least once a day if I’m anywhere near the ocean. But it was yet too cold in mid May for any serious Pacific plunging, so the pool was a welcome substitute. I hope some of you have also discovered that there is nothing like the steady black line on a pale blue underwater floor to prime you for those inspiring bolts from the skybound blue.

Anyway, a few days after I got situated and acclimated to the vibe of the place, my musical gear was all up and running smoothly and a thick nostalgia had set in, as I could clearly see my Junior high school on the ridge top right across the canyon from my perch. Late one hazy afternoon I found a particularly great electronic patch and spent a while tweaking it around so that between my keyboard, my mouse and the monitor screen I would have multiple tactile access points with which to manipulate the sound.  I then set the synth patch to “infinite sustain,” punched “record” on my nomadic laptop and I went at it (those of you who make electronic music know well that when you delete the “R” for “release” in “ADSR”, you have a toy of joy that you can mess with until your brain fries and the flying spaghetti monsters come home!)

Well, when I emerged from my miasmatic sonic wankfest, having pushed this poor synth patch through multiple noisy tribulations like Virgil guiding Dante through the nine circles…..when I looked up at the right corner of my monitor, I saw that nearly 25 minutes had elapsed!

What happened next is either the single most insane or inspired moment of my piano-playing history, depending on your aesthetic perspective and tolerance for rich sauces and rare red meat:  I immediately enabled another “record track” on my software, switched my keyboard sound to “grand piano” and began to play along with the electronic excursion I had just recorded. Why I jumped in on piano at around minute six of the electric improv is still a mystery to me, but once I entered the tunnel of fun, my world shrank to the radius between my headphones until I found myself embellishing the last wisp of noise just as the sun was starting its early evening descent into the Pacific…and the light in my little stone temple was getting dim.

So this musical document was saved on my computer as “MX4 Long Improv” at 6:50 PM, May 16, 2010 and this is just how I found it, buried in a computer folder called “Temple Hills Backup,” one sunny morning in early January 2011 in a tiny condo on a low-glitz strip of Maui’s northwest shore. I had gone back to the same restful spot where I had sequestered myself three years earlier in January of ‘08 to complete the scores for the three horn charts I wrote for “Exchange.”  FYI….the sax/trumpet/trombone chart for “Climb” will always be known as my “Three Mai Tai Trio”….maybe that will explain some of its oddball antics for those of you who are yet suspicious and concerned about my jazz ambitions.😉

Anyway, this year, I was back in Maui to compose and swim (of course!) but also to do some critical listening to and editing of the several hours of piano/vocal material I had recorded at Fantasy studios in Berkeley in December of 2010.  The morning that I rediscovered the folder of Temple Hills improvs, I was actually digging down through my files to find my orchestral mock-up template, hoping to try out some arrangement ideas for a higher-key version of Weill’s “Speak Low” that I had also recorded at Fantasy – a version and an idea that was ultimately discarded in favor of the lower-key solo version that made the cut for “Fooled By Yesterday”.  But that’s another story……

I should tell you that the other task for my 10-day Hawaiian respite this last January was to do some serious foundational reading on cognitive science, and to peruse recent research on music and the brain. And, to make some final decisions about which spring semester neurobiology and psychology courses I was going to sign up for immediately on my return to California. Some of you already know that I’ve embarked on a new path of study in music cognition over the past year, but this is in-progress to the extent that talking more about it now may trap me in to corners that I’m still exploring, with words that I don’t quite know how to use yet, so I’ll wait on more explanation.  Suffice it to say that my new favorite self-flagellating joke is to tell people that all this study is just to help me figure out how to create better and more memorable melodies that people’s brains will actually command them to pay lots of money for.  Ha!

Ok so here’s where this rambling story about me and my swimming trips gets sort of interesting, and what follows is probably why I decided to expose and publicly document this improvised music, so utterly privately conceived and in some ways, glibly and unpreparedly executed. The day prior to the morning that I discovered the “MX4 Long Improv” file, I had purchased a “Kindle” version of cognitive scientist Steven Pinker’s 1997 classic book “How the Mind Works” for my beloved iPad. Naturally, I had started first with his chapters about music and art on the beach that afternoon.😉

So, that morning after my reading day on the beach, very curious about this improvised thing I had tucked away on my computer in Laguna eight months earlier, I opened the music file. As the musical track window opened on the screen I was astounded by the title I had given the electronic part the previous May: “How the mind Works”.

Yes, I’ve gotten better and better at spotting synchronicities but this one was a screaming, neon-bright beauty with golden scarabs fluttering all around it. And after listening to all 25 minutes of the thing, I determined right then that this piece of music was indeed quite a document about something in my life, though about what I wasn’t yet sure.  And also, I really liked it as a piece of music, thought it definitely had a discernable large-scale structure (which surprised me), some pretty cool sounds, and some moments where I really could not believe that I had played those things. Me? That chord?  Where did THAT come from?

As for the final title that I chose, “May in Mesolimbia” :  I’ll tell you just a little bit more here about the relevant neuroscience of music stuff. Some of you may know that earlier this year, new research out of a Music Cognition lab at McGill University in Montreal found proof through an FMRI/PET brain-imaging study that the powerhouse neurotransmitter dopamine is deeply involved in mediating the human pleasure-response to music. Valorie Salimpoor and Robert Zatorre have coined this the musical “chills response” and you can read much more about it here:

http://www.zlab.mcgill.ca/home.html

This had been suspected, of course, as dopamine is well-known as an urgent messenger of the Mesolimbic “reward pathway” in the brain’s deep subcortical limbic system structures and is implicated in substance addiction, in psychotic disorders, and in mediating motivated behavior in general.

I am quite sure that what I physically and emotionally experienced when playing/creating this piece was actually “chasing the dopamine down.” That’s how it felt; a craving to follow every building tension with a release, like following the highs with more highs until I sated myself momentarily and could go back to tension for the next round. There really was no calculation about what or how to play the piano.  My brain simply followed what my ear told my mind it wanted to hear so that Emily the listener (not the improviser) could feel good and get her reward for playing something she liked for herself.

Tell me all you solo improvisers out there, isn’t this what it is really all about?!  Are you willing to admit that it is mostly about this, even during those spectacular moments when you are jamming with world class jazz players X, Y and Z and assuring me it is really all about high-level language-like communication in a very specialized musical syntax? As in life, so in music: even in the most reasoned, most cognitively, frontal cortex-driven behaviors, can we really ever tune out the dopamine howl? Schopenhauer certainly would have a few words to say about this.  Hmmmm….wonder what Wagner and Messiaen would add about the topic were they around to get in on the discussion and check out a few FMRI scans?

I guess I really do believe that the untethered, untamed creative mind in a state of flow is just a few neurochemical variations away from the mind of an addict hunting down the next hit, a psychotic in florid delusional disarray, or a mystic in ecstatic trance. Artists rarely make their most extravagantly interior works public because, well, they are often too idiosyncratic and insular and yeah, hard to parse for those whose brains didn’t soak in the same cocktail that day.  But I make this music public here because I think it is a fascinating journal entry; if nothing else, it’s a photograph of my musical mind at mid-life, altered by a particular nostalgia-infused solitude. For the first time in many years, I found my way back to the naïve artistic bravery I knew as a kid in pretty, seaside Laguna, before I had tangled with the Zeitgeist and had been advised that my music was just too weird, uncategorizable and demanding for commercial consumption.

Yes, I’ve been making music since I was five years old, a tow-headed beach kid living three blocks from the sea, fearlessly diving into those big Mexican hurricane waves every summer between swim pauses for the Beach Boys, Evita, Seals and Crofts, Joni and Blondie, Queen and Cheap Trick pounding from boomboxes on the hot sand while we stuffed our Husky Boy Burgers down the hatch with yellow mustard seaweed hands, wiping off the black oilspill tar from our soles and souls with mom’s clear rubbing alcohol, selling cheapo jewelry to touristas on cool ocean breezy nights down at the Sawdust Festival, craving and crushing on tanned surfer boys with puka-shelled necks, bleached hair and pink-burned noses oxidated with zinc, crusted all over with sweat and Pacific salt. Hey I’ll even admit to running back home from the shore for TV and fresh-baked brownie seances in front of “All My Children”, back when glamorous Erica was a decade and a half younger than I am now.

Living on the edge of the continent, I always thought I had access to something really big and wild out there just beyond the horizon.  All grown up now and not quite so sure any more….still…. being able to identify my own rare moments of creative grace and access to the big beyond goes well along with getting better at noticing those big synchronicities when they pop up in the most banal format, like a small line of text on a computer screen.

And maybe my “Mesolimbia” is that enchanted maze of endless transmission corridors that comprise the still-mysterious interface between my big mind and my small brain. Does my mind instruct the dopamine neurons to “hurry up and make more juice” so that annoying little brain can work?  Or does her majesty My Brainyness decree just how much of the elixir she will instruct her neuronal minions to generate today so that poor little embodied mind can even exist at all? Whether you trust Dennett or Descartes, Penfield or Penrose, Damasio, Dawkins, Plato, Pythagoras, or any of the investigators of mind throughout the centuries who’ve even obliquely stared down the Hard Problem of Consciousness, (which looms largest, IMO, when contemplating creativity and the whole improv state-of-mind thing…..)  Whether that mind-brain interface is more like a receiver, transmitter, limiter, conductor, filter, reducer, amplifier, tuner or, does not even exist at all…there’s something thrilling about reveling in the pure experience of how it FEELS to be creating and transmitting an original musical idea to the world for the first time.

My hope, despite this long explanatory rambling, is that you can still hear this music from both “inside-out” and “outside-in,” as it were. That hearing it might make you forget the image of the lady with her electric toys on an arid California hillside and that it may shoot you out to somewhere on the Pacific horizon line above, below or inside the waves. And please try to find and read Jeffrey Kripal’s stunning book “Authors of the Impossible,” the one that I mentioned in the liner notes for FBY’s “My Magnetic Sleep.”  If you read anything at all from it, read his Conclusion.  And then work back from there and see if things look different next time you stare through the plane window out at the curving sky, deep into the billowing bows and flows….or into the mirror, down through your own convex, fathomless eyes, into Mesolimbia.

Postscript:

One last technical explanatory note about how I prepared this piece of music for your loudspeakers/headphones:  what you hear on the final, mixed version of “May in Mesolimbia” is the completely unedited piano part (played on the Ivory piano-sampler instrument) and a “mixed and processed” version of the improvised electronic part.  And by mixing and processing I mean that I added some EQ, extra filtering and sound massaging to the electronic part, varied its dynamics and even dropped it out completely in places in order to highlight the piano during certain passages.  So yes, there was a degree of end-stage composition which would not have been possible in a truly live improv situation on stage.  And I do mean to present this as a duet of equal partners – it was not my intention that this should be heard as a piano piece with electronic accompaniment. Thanks so much for listening with open ears!

Credits:

Piano and electronics by Emily Bezar
Recorded and mixed by Emily Bezar
Mastered by Ken Lee

Photos by Emily Bezar
Brain/Music image from the internet…please advise how to credit if you know?

“Fooled By Yesterday” Album available now!

released 08 November 2011

Track Groups and Liner Notes:

I.
My Magnetic Sleep
Fooled By Yesterday

First, a prelude: an electronic invitation to cross over into “La Sommeil Magnétique,” inspired by Jeffrey Kripal’s chapter about French sociologist and writer Bertrand Méheust from Kripal’s extraordinary 2010 book “Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred.”

Then a new original song inspired by two vivid and optimistic dream fragments (the verse one and verse two images). This was the first new song I completed after I released “Exchange” in 2008. I consider it also my first real midlife-composed song and I felt sure that the particular combination of hope, regret and disappointment expressed in the lyric was to shift profoundly in the coming years so I wanted to record and release it on its own and let it stand as a memorial for the timbre and tone of my 43rd – 46th years. Maybe this is my own very personal century-later version of “Die Zeit……”? Though I had no idea I would ever dare to juxtapose it with my very favorite vocal composer Richard Strauss when I wrote it!

Jeffrey Kripal
kripal.rice.edu/essay.html

II.
Lockdown at Fantasy
—- December Glare
—- Out of Nowhere (Green/Heyman)
—- Speak Low (Weill/Nash)
—- A Child Is Born (Thad Jones)

One piano improvisation and three of my longtime favorite jazz standards, recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California on a brisk and bright day in early winter, December 16, 2010.

Fantasy Recording Studios
www.fantasystudios.com

III.
Temple Hills Transmissions
—- Zebratropic
—- Dance Of The Tangerines
—- May In Mesolimbia

Electronic improvisations, recorded live to the computer between May 13 and May 16, 2010 in a granite-lined cottage on a hillside near the sea in my home town of Laguna Beach, California. in the near future, I will add some more program notes about these pieces to their individual song pages here.

Laguna Beach
www.lagunabeachinfo.com

IV.
Die Zeit, Die Ist Ein Sonderbar Ding – Time is Weird
(Richard Strauss/Hugo von Hofmannsthal)

A famous aria from an iconic character in Opera history. This is the Marschallin’s ode to the passing of time, sung to her younger lover Octavian near the end of Act One of Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier”, which premiered one century ago: in Dresden in 1911.

This version features guitarist Erik Pearson, who magically interprets the orchestral score with both acoustic and electric guitars. When we stripped this Aria down to its essential structure, Erik and I both began to hear the legacy of Bach, Mozart and the deep, long tradition of German and Austrian vocal music contained in this short piece.

Lotte Lehman Sings “Die Zeit” (1939)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obpz8EHhtnc

Interesting essay about Rosenkavalier
entartetemusik.blogspot.com/2011/01/viennese-time-machine.html

Personal Note:

When I was studying to be a classical singer at the Oberlin Conservatory very long ago, we were always advised to arrange songs into cohesive and imaginative little groups for our Recitals. Some of us organized the music by ascending or descending historical era, some by programmatic or emotional theme, others by juxtaposing simple beauties with dissonant surrealism, others by I-Ching, phase/color of moon (hmm…) or the old standby coin toss. Yes we voice majors had a pretty exotic Ohio encampment back there in 1980s Oberlin!

For my own Senior year vocal recital in 1987 I remember singing some Rameau and Lully arias, a set of obscure Zemlinsky songs, Lukas Foss’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and some of my earliest electronic music – I think it was two Robert Creeley poem settings for voice and tape. Here I’ll offer warm gratitude again to my brilliant and brave professors at Oberlin and Stanford who nurtured my exploratory spirit and without whom I could not have become the woman who just pulled an all-nighter last night at age 46 to get her “Total Unverkaufbar” weirdo music (yes, a sternfaced guy at a German recording studio did tell me that when I was 25 years old) up online for your pleasure before my self-imposed deadline!

I have other thoughts to share about this album and how I conceived of it and finally decided to go public with things like an 18-minute improvisation and a Strauss Aria with a psychedelic electric guitar outro. But since I’m REALLY tired and need to take a nap, I’ll leave more rambling on for another day…..

Thank you so much for listening and for your open ears!

Emily

Produced by Emily Bezar
©2011 Blue Countess Music, BMI

Emily Bezar: voice, piano, keyboards, electronics
Dan Feiszli: electric bass
Erik Pearson: acoustic and electric guitars

Recorded by Dan Feiszli
at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
and at What’s for Lunch? Recording,
El Cerrito, CA
Additional recording by Emily Bezar
at Big Tree Studio, Oakland, CA
and at The Stone Room on Temple Hills Drive,
Laguna Beach, CA

Mixed by Dan Feiszli at What’s for Lunch? Recording,
El Cerrito, CA
and by Emily Bezar at Big Tree Studio, Oakland, CA

Mastered by Ken Lee

Album Photography: Christina Shook
http://www.cshook.com

Art and Web design: Emily Bezar

Facebook and Rainbows

Happy New Year everyone!

Sorry I’ve been out of touch for so long.  2009 was a year of progress and transition for me in many ways and I’m excited to say that I’ve got lots of new music brewing as we plunge into 2010 here….I’m hoping to start rolling tape (or ‘roiling computer’, as it goes in the digital age I guess…) for some new songs in the coming months!

The rapid ascent of social-networking culture has admittedly left me a bit stunned and shy. Despite the sometimes grandiose, dramatic nature of my music, I have discovered that I am, at my core, a bit of a wallflower, introvert, demure lady in corner etc….so I’ve been slow to step up on the platform and reveal ‘public emily’s mealtime habits!’  But I’m taking some baby steps and I do now have a Facebook “Fan Page”, if not a personal page, at this time.

I’d be honored to have you all join in, so please check it out here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emily-Bezar-Music/153027764593 

Otherwise (this is my best attempt at a tweet), the weather was pretty astounding today out here in Northern CA.   Went to pick up my son from school at 4pm in a downpour of hail and horizontal rain (cars moving at 5mph) and on the way home we were treated to a spectacular sun-break and a double rainbow hanging out right over my neighborhood in North Oakland!

The two 12 year-olds in my car immediately started discussing that famous ice-cream brand while I tried unsuccessfully to steer the conversation into “do you guys know those colors represent the vibrational frequency spectrum of light!?! And that last Radiohead album….did you hear that TY really has synesthesia?!”  Ah to be 12 years old again and craving chocolate fudge brownie rather than transcendence……

Anyway, thanks for listening and for warmly encouraging my musical explorations all these years.  I hope the double rainbow that I saw today portends a good year for everyone, and may it bring some solace and relief for the people of Haiti, who have endured more tragedy than anyone in the modern world should have to bear.

I wish everyone all the best for this new decade!

love,

Emily

Grandmother’s Tea Leaves: Update and Saga

I want to close out 2006 with some interesting news. I am now down to about 5 slightly damaged copies of the original 2 pressings of my debut solo album “Grandmother’s Tea Leaves.” I’ve been searching in far corners of my basement but can’t find any more yet…..though I have been known to absentmindedly stash things in obscure places to be discovered some time in 3046 (if we make it that long.)

For those of you who don’t know the history of this album……I released it in the fall of 1993 on what at the time I had called “Olio Records.” Why I decided to name my record label the word for “oil” in Italian remains a mystery to me, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the graphic look of the word and the symmetry of the “O’s”. I guess as an amateur/budding graphic designer, I thought I might be able to make some kind of cool logo out of the label name.

Anyway, I pressed 1000 copies and made my first attempt at going public with my music….sent a bunch out to press and radio etc….all the things you are supposed to do to try and get your music heard by others than your family and friends. I had a few amazing early successes and found some incredibly cool fans, many of whom became and have remained good friends to this day….and some of the reviews I got for that album contain the most insightful and beautiful things that have ever been said about my music by people whose ears I respect immensely.

But soon after the album release, I also got a series of cease and desist letters/phone calls from a lawyer for a to-be-undisclosed record label whose investigators somehow found out about tiny me and thought I had stolen their label name. There was little I could do in this situation other than to assure the lawyer that I was not going to take over any share of their Particular Niche of the music market with my oily little label and that probably less than 200 of my CDs would ever sell anyway. So I don’t really remember, but we made some kind of amicable agreement and I said sure no problem, I’ll change my label name for my next release.

As it turned out, a few years later, I did press another 1000 copies of GTL with the same artwork and “Olio” survived a few years longer under the radar and without incident. My label did finally become DemiVox Records in 1996 and I released “Moon…” and onward. (hey, if you are going to run a vanity label, why not put part of your name and instrument in the title and go all the way with the self-reference. And yes, half a voice is what I always have in the morning, so that was appropriate too…..)

So, getting to the point of the story: when I left for France in 2001, I entrusted my GTL master CD artwork films to the storage warehouse of the great company in SF who had pressed the album for me in 1993. But during the sunsoaked time I was in France, both my American record distributor and this album pressing company sadly went out of business…early harbingers of the music industry meltdown that was to come. The news soon came from across the seas that I had lost several thousand dollars via the demise of this distributor (to try and get the money back would have cost me in legal fees more than I had lost, so I wrote it off…..)

Shortly afterwards I found out that my GTL artwork masters were nowhere to be found, probably locked up as confiscated goods in some legal storage bin in the depths of LA’s San Fernando Valley. And I, having been the inexperienced graphic designer that I was at the time, did not have complete backups for the art-work computer files in any readable form. Oh it was so much fun to get all this “news from home”….yes oh yes it was. (I look at this now as payback for my good fortune to have lived in such a gorgeous place for 2.5 years).

Anyway, I think I consoled myself with a few weeks of serious cheese and wine overindulgence and got on with the making of Angels’ Abacus and pretty much forgot about it — or decided not to worry about it again.

So what I’m saying here today is that I am now down to 5 out of 2000 copies of my first and definitely my weirdest and maybe my best album, “Grandmother’s Tea Leaves”. I think I have to consider this a great success, despite the little traumas along the way. There are other copies to be found floating around the internet at varying prices and I may begin buying them back soon cause I’d like to have some original copies to give to my son and his future kids some day.

This album probably will not be pressed as a CD ever again — who knows. I guess I could scan the original artwork and strip in the new label logo….maybe someday (though the 25-year lifespan of the CD format is about to end very soon, I believe.) But GTL will never be on little embattled “Olio Records” again and that makes me sad as….I don’t know….it’s a big closure to the early part of my creative life as a record-maker-label and closure is always bittersweet.

So if you want one of these 5 remainders from my basement, please let me know. I may yet be able to find a few more but they will have dust and cracks and I will do my best to clean them up for you, put them in new jewel boxes, sign them and even glisten them up with some real olive oil!!!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for listening for 13 years. I am going to try my very best to complete something big and new by the end of 2007. Please wish me and my new computer lots of luck.

xoxoxo

Emily

I Dreamed A Recursive Dream

So the first big storm of our northern CA winter is crashing in off the
Pacific tonight….I can always tell that it’s going to be a soaker when the 
dead branches from the redwood tree in my backyard start pummeling the
 kitchen skylight and my back door window starts to rumble and roll.  Weather 
like this puts me in a very abstract mood and I start exhibiting convulsions 
of convolution, or something like that.  It has much to do with the arrival
 of low barometric pressure…I’m sure.

Anyway,  I had this dream last night and I need some help to figure out what
 exactly went on there in my head (storm warning?)  I dreamed that I 
dreamed a dream, and in my dream, the in-my-dream-dreamed-dream came true 
(ie: in my dream, I witnessed the dream-prophesized event occurring).   A
 hall of mirrors dream.  A state of fractal sleep.  Very strange and I don’t 
remember ever having woken up quite so confused and intrigued.

You could say…yeah, let’s use the standard top-level Freudian analysis:
 Emily, you obviously had a wish-fulfillment dream.  Well, who wouldn’t dream 
that all their dreams came true? Dreaming about dreams coming true…that’s 
an ur-dream.   But see, the content of the prophecy was not a wish that
 awake Emily wanted fulfilled.  I’m not going to reveal the details of my
 dream (this is my first blog ever here and no way are you getting the dirt
 out of me….and I’m far more concerned with form than with content at the
 moment…. that’s a whole other discussion — the form vs. content wars etc 
etc.)

So what do I make of the fact that the me who dreamed inside my dream 
dreamed the wrong dream? At least it was the wrong dream for the waking
 Emily to have had come true in her dreaming head. What does this
MEANNNNNNN???  I am well-known among friends and family for imagining that 
things that are obvious are really very complicated  (I was always the one
 who screwed up the standardized tests because I thought there must be a
 hidden trick to the simple algebra equation and thus I would fill in circle 
D: “none of the above”) Now, I really think  I need to go turn on the TV
 and watch something silly but before I go……

I did a bit of sleuthing on the net to see who else has had a “recursive
 dream” and gone public with it and I found Steve Rainwater, whose
 subconscious is apparently far more interesting than mine and he has done a 
brilliant job of leading us through the maze of his peculiar nocturnal
 brainwave distortion.  (Thanks to Steve, now my highest Alpha aspiration is 
to have a truly baroque dream like his and I would like it please to include
 a completed orchestral score running through my dreaming ears from one stage 
of the multi-level dream theater. And who knows what alien musical 
encounters that I’ll never remember I may already have had in Delta, but
 that’s another 300,000 words …..)

Check out Steve here and roll down his page a bit to find the following:

http://www.steevithak.com/2000/08/06/dream-recursion/

“I had a recursive dream last night. I don’t think that’s ever happened to 
me before. I went to sleep in my own house and dreamed (dream level 1) that
 I was on a business trip and staying in a hotel room. I went to sleep in the
 hotel bed and dreamed (dream level 2) that I was at a party. I became tired 
at the party and was led to a bedroom where I slept, dreaming (dream level
 3) that I was in my office coding while someone stood beside my desk playing 
an electric guitar. I somehow became aware (in dream level 2) that this
 (dream level 3) was a dream and began listening to the guitarist, noticing 
how good the audio response was and wondering how my brain was able to
 produce such a good guitar solo in a dream when I can barely put two notes
 together in real life. Suddenly I woke up back in the bedroom in the house
 where the party was (return to dream level 2) and decided to leave the
 party. As I opened the front door to leave I was awakened in the hotel room 
(return to dream level 1) by someone saying that I was having a bad dream
 and should wake up. As I sat up on the bed in the hotel room, I awoke in my 
bed back in the real world. My first thought on realizing what happened was 
wondering how many recursive realities I could push onto the stack before my 
brain had a stack overflow and dumped core…”

Jungians, Freudians, Lacanians, Grofians have at it………….