Category Image Dream Theater's "Stream of Consciousness" 


If you're a faithful reader here at PeteOfTheStreet Sayz you'll remember my great interest in the songwriting contest sponsored by Dream Theater. To recap: the band provided structural skeletons for a song on their upcoming album and asked fans to write a song using that skeleton. At the time, I was particularly interested in the semiotics of the skeleton, both in terms of the ambiguity of such terms as "BEATLES" and "CRIMSON" as well as in the way the finished entries would be every bit as "authoritative" as Dream Theater's version of the skeleton.

Well, last week Dream Theater's album Train of Thought was released and the world got hear for the first time their version of "Stream of Consciousness." It was pretty neat to listen to it because I really felt like I already knew it, having studied the "score" while listening to all the contest entries. To be sure, Dream Theater did not come up with the structural skeleton and then write musical content around that skeleton, but I couldn't help but hear their "Stream of Consciousness" in terms of its structure. Of course I paid great attention to the moments in the structure the band had marked with the semiotics (BEATLES, etc.), and I was surprised by the results of some of those areas in the song. For instance Dream Theater's "BEATLES" section sounds no more like a recognizable Beatles section than almost any of the contest entries. As I wrote in my first blog on this topic, most of the entries simply played the chords given in the skeleton, without a lot of fancy stuff. The results were usually quite a jarring contrast to the surrounding sections of music and, to my surprise, Dream Theater's version of the BEATLES section sounds like most of the contest entries'. In all cases there is not a lot that sounds to me like the Beatles enough to warrant labeling the section "BEATLES."

The contest winner won't be announced for at least another month. 

Posted: Wednesday - November 19, 3 at 03:10 PM