"Mankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
- attributed to Chief Seattle but actually writtten by Ted Perry *
"Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality."
- Jonas Salk
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
(Native American Flute)
There’s good and there’s bad
In dreams that you’ve had
Just let them unwind
There’s grace you can find...
While as I sleep
Good dreams so I'll know
Come daylight they can take root and grow.
Dreamcatcher show the way
Dreamcatcher light my day
Dreamcatcher while I sleep
Find goodness that I can keep...
Dreamcatchers were an integral part of Native American culture. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop.
Sometimes referred to as "Sacred Hoops," dreamcatchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believed that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad. When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.
All parts of a dreamcatcher have meaning tied to the natural world. The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents the circle of life and how forces like the sun and moon travel each day and night across the sky. The dream catcher web catches the bad dreams during the night and dispose of them when the day comes. As for the good dreams, the feathers act as a fluffy, pillow-like ladder that allows them to gently descend upon the sleeping person undisturbed. There is some contention when it comes to the meaning of the beads that often decorate the dreamcatcher. According to some Native Americans, the beads symbolize the spider—the web weaver itself. Others believe the beads symbolize the good dreams that could not pass through the web, immortalized in the form of sacred charms.
This melody came to me while fooling around with my smaller Native American flute. The tune was originally conceived around the visual of a forest gathering of people early in the morning but it morphed into the concept of a dreamcatcher - the shifting and sorting of dreams and it symbolizing the intrinsic circle of life.
Dreams are a strange phenomenon - the sensation of floating freely in an alternate reality - far from the daily distractions of the real world around you. I’ve tried to capture that relaxed dream state feeling in the music, especially in the ethereal quality of the end section.
This composition features both a Penney Whistle (substituting for the Native American flute) and the trombone. The electric bass is prominently featured in a few sections of the rhythm track while the core harmonic foundation is anchored by the jazz guitar. Strings fill out the B sections and are featured in the Bridge.
The lyrics and pseudo-vocal version came to me on a brainstorm on a train commute! It would sound great with a choir...
The production demo was cleaned up and remixed on 10/14/18. It was moved from the Nature Suite to the Vision Quest section in October of 2021. It makes much more sense to reside here.
Who was Chief Seattle?
Chief Seattle (1786 – 1866) was a Suquamish Tribe chief. A leading figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers. The city of Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, was named after him. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans' land rights had been attributed to him; however what he actually said has been lost through translation and rewriting. Chief Seattle | Further Info