ThisIsNotAScene‘s Ian Girle recently caught up with Dreamfire‘s Osirion, the composer behind the remarkable “Atlantean Symphony” album, for an interview. They chatted about music, philosophy, William Blake, and more…
“Atlantean Symphony” is a beautiful album. You must have been very pleased with the result.
Firstly, thank you for your appraisal of the album. Yes, it was a huge personal goal when I finally reached the end of the writing, recording and mastering and could sit back and see everything had fallen into place. I lost count of the amount of re-workings it took to get to the end of the project. But it was a valuable personal journey to have undertaken, and reaching the end was a real milestone.
How do you approach the task of arranging something as large as this?
It really is a case of you wait until the inspiration strikes. I realised very early on that if you sit down and expect to write something, although you will go through the motions, it doesn’t mean that what you end up with is of any value. With something like this, you absolutely must be in the right frame of mind, be attuned to otherworldly influences, and let things flow in their own time. I could go 3 months without putting a single note towards the composition, and then when inspiration struck I could hide away from the world in my studio for a week writing intensely, stopping only to eat and sleep as required. Things happen in their own time, and can’t be forced or accelerated.
It took many years for the album to appear in its final form. Is there a reason it took so long?
I began writing the demo back in 2001. I knew it would become something special, but also that it would take time. There were various bits and pieces going on in my life that took me away to do other things, but I was always processing “Atlantean Symphony” in the back of my mind. When I reawakened the concept fully, it was about another 6 years of work, on and off, to get it finished. As I touched on above, this was never something I could rush. It happens when it happens – any other way and the final product would have been cheap by comparison.
The music seems to me almost like the soundtrack to a movie. How much inspiration for the music was visual?
Actually, not so much – at least when seen in relation to movies, although I am a big fan of many film scores. With some of the pieces, I do have images in my mind of what the music portrays, and they play out as I listen to the section. Others, I have a feeling of what the music represents, though no visual frames of reference exist in my mind for them at all.
The song titles appear to tell a story: does the album contain a narrative, or is it underpinned by a central concept?
On the surface, the theme of the album is played out across the Atlantis concept, metaphorically running from birth to death to the seeds of rebirth. Though I would never seek to tell anyone that there is only one meaning, or one right path on which the journey must be made. The feelings and emotions contained in the fabric of the “Atlantean Symphony” journey are for people to experience and interpret in a way that works for them, and they can take them as deep as they wish. As with the works of William Blake (for example), art can be experienced on many levels, and will also naturally change with time. The concepts that underpin the workings of Dreamfire are expansive; limitless. As the philosopher Lau Tzu once said, “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”.
What made you decide to include ‘Moonlight Sonata’ as an extra track?
I thought for a long time on what the perfect track would be to put as a boundary between the end of the “Atlantean Symphony” concept and the bonus section. It had to be something unrelated, yet still fitted in with the feeling of the release as a whole. ‘Moonlight Sonata Act I’ is one of my favourite pieces of all time; haunting, dark, emotive, passionate. So, I started to work on a version that I thought would work well. It’s performed a little slower than usual, which I think helps bring out a deeper feel to the music. And with the power of the storm accompanying the music, fusing nature with magic, I think it was the perfect choice.
Listening to this album was, for me, something of a spiritual experience, emotional and uplifting. Was that the intention?
I’m always glad to hear when someone connects directly with the music on a very personal level. It’s definitely designed to offer infinitely more than just a cursory listening value. It is something that offers many facets to explore, many emotions to commune with, and on other levels many answers to questions, and also many questions to which answers need to be sought. I describe the works of Dreamfire as a conceptual manifestation of journeys through time, space and reality, within the boundless and timeless expanses of the macrocosmic universe. Everything is possible, and the portal is waiting to take you to where you need to be.
As a live experience this album would be an intensely moving experience. Do you have any plans for live performances?
Although I would never rule this out, realistically at this stage the answer is no. I think it would need a big production, backed by a full symphony orchestra and striking visuals to really get to the heart of the music in a live setting. I would love for this to become a reality at some point. Dreamfire at the Royal Albert Hall? Yes, I could definitely live with that.
It would be great to hear more from Dreamfire. What plans do you have for the future?
I’m actually concurrently working on three more releases. A reworking of the second Dreamfire demo, “Resonance of the Pyramids”, which is a deep, expansive journey into multidimensional consciousness. Again, a reworking of the very first Dreamfire demo, “Through Shades of Eternity”, which is a very varied offering, giving a different view into the Dreamfire world. And I’m also working on a follow-up to “Atlantean Symphony”, which takes place after the end of the concept of the current release. It deals with the dissemination of magic and knowledge, the fact that nothing is ever truly lost, it just takes on a different form, waiting for a new cycle to begin.
I honestly can’t say which will arrive first; it entirely depends on how the creativity chooses to flow through me. But there will be plenty more from Dreamfire over the coming years.