Dream of: 01 August 1996 "The Beat"

I was riding on an elevator with two or three other people whom I recognized as being members of a famous rock and roll band. One of the fellows and I struck up a conversation about music. He was a tall lanky fellow, probably in his late 20s, with long kinky disheveled reddish-brown hair. He seemed interested in what I had to say, and he finally surprised me by asking me if I would like to write a song for the band. What struck me was that I didn't know this fellow at all; he was a complete stranger to me; yet he was asking me to work with him on something important. Then suddenly, in a flash of realization, the significance of this hit me: this was the type of character about which I had been talking with other members of my dream group.

I knew I had discussed with Donna and Jacobs (members of the group with whom I had been exchanging dreams over the Internet) the possibility of each of us encountering the same character in our dreams, a character which didn't really exist in our waking lives. I was now amazed to realize this fellow was exactly the kind of character about which I had been talking. I was happily surprised that this manifestation had come to me so quickly, and I knew I would need to immediately report it to Donna and Jacobs.

***

I was sitting at a table while two or three other musicians of a rock and roll band were standing around the room. Some small objects were lying in front of me on the table, and I began lightly touching them, tapping them as if I were playing a drum. My tapping became more vigorous until finally I realized I could produce the best effect by simply hitting the top of the wooden table, and not worrying about actually tapping the objects.

One of the other fellows sat down across from me at the table, and he also began tapping. Then another fellow joined in and the three of us all began tapping together. As we played along, I was also thinking, looking for the word to describe what we were doing, finally deciding that we were trying to establish the "beat." I wasn't all that familiar with musical terms, and in my mind I was trying to distinguish "rhythm" and "beat." I wasn't able to figure out what "rhythm" was, but I felt as if I were gaining insight into what "beat" was. It was something quite mysterious to me. I had to look inside myself and feel this sense of exactly when to make each tap. And I realized my ability to do so was limited. But I also felt as if it was something I could learn, if I would simply concentrate.

At the moment, however, it was painfully clear that I lacked the ability to sense the "beat." The three of us were tapping at different times, and although for brief periods we were all tapping along together well, we would then break up into discord. Finally we stopped. I wasn't disappointed by our efforts to tap together. Indeed I felt enlivened by it, as if by practice we would be able to succeed.

One of the fellows had walked over to a window and was looking out of it. I could hear music playing in the distance and it looked as if he were also listening to it. It occurred to me that there was another musical concept which I had never understood well: "time." I asked him if he could tell, just by listening to a piece of music, what "time" it was being played in. Since he was a professional musician, I thought he would be able to do so. This was something I also wanted to be able to do. I watched as he seemed to concentrate on the music in the distance. It looked as if he were trying to tell the "time" of the music, and that he would soon tell me what it was.

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