New music from Dave Douglas inspired by the author Kevin Gilbert.

Recorded virtually in collaboration with musicians from Monash University.

Released March 5, 2020.

Available exclusively on Bandcamp in digital format.

The Dream is a collaboration with musicians from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Working with the emerging artists on new music through online video conferencing, Dave sought inspiration for the project from the write Kevin Gilbert. The music was recorded at a distance, with the artists sharing audio tracks online.

This five song album that is available exclusively on Bandcamp in digital format.

Dave Douglas Liner Notes

I’m very grateful to Paul Williamson, Robert Burke, Jordan Murray, Johannes Luebbers and the SZCSoM for instigating the invitation to compose and record this music with these fine musicians. In looking for an Australian connection to inspire the work, I stumbled on the prose and poetry of Kevin Gilbert. His connection to land, to people, ancestors, and to love, moved me deeply. The imagery in his work, and as I later found out, his graphic artwork, felt keenly attuned to sound and musical expression. Each piece was inspired by one of his works and, with deep respect and feeling, we crafted a lyric and an improvisational content in collaboration. All the players here are excellent, and in each round of recording and production, these pieces became finely honed and sharp edged gems.

The process of recording varied greatly: some pieces used pre-produced audio guides, others had more open ended and free-form frameworks. Each musician recorded their part in their home studio on their own schedule, reacting and adapting to recordings made by other ensemble members. “Convenings” differs slightly in this regard: the score is a series of instructions for each performer to be performed strictly in time; the musicians all recorded their parts by themselves without hearing the others. All of the audio on the album was then blended together after the fact, and brilliantly mixed and mastered by Daniel Tan and Hadyn Buxton.

Just as Monash University acknowledges the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which the four Monash University Australian campuses stand, I would like to acknowledge and honor the Elders of my own land, the Lenape people. May The Dream be a tribute, and inspire fair treatment and a just, equitable system in our societies.

– Dave Douglas, New York, 2021

Track Details

1. The Dream (4:13)
2. Noble Truths (5:48)
3. Convenings (8:54)
4. Tree (8:16)
5. The Pen (5:58)


The Monash SZCSoM musicians:

Voice: Olivia Chamoun
Voice: Natasha Weatherill
Drum Kit: Marissa Di Marzio
Drum Kit: Sam Hunt
Vibraphone & Rhodes: Miro Lauritz
Guitar: Eugene Stone-Marques
Bass: Vasilios Drakopoulos
Bass: Tim Hannan
Trumpet: Ashley Ballat
Trombone: Callum Mintzis
Trombone: Oskar Moore
Alto Saxophone & Flute: Mia Barham
Tenor Saxophone: Mitchell Hand

Production Credits

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered in August & September 2020
Composed and arranged by Dave Douglas (Dave Douglas Music / BMI)
Lyrics by Natasha Weatherill and Olivia Chamoun
Produced by Dave Douglas
Co-produced by the SZCSoM Jazz Team: Paul Williamson, Robert Burke, Jordan Murray and Johannes Luebbers
Coordinator for Dave Douglas: Mark Micklethwaite at Greenleaf Music
Tracking and mastering: Daniel Tan
Mixing: Hadyn Buxton
Monash University technical assistance by Karl Willebrant and Chris Cody
Photography by Austin Nelson
Design by Robyn Ardagh

Liner Notes

Composed by acclaimed American composer and jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, The Dream was inspired by the poetry of First Nations author, activist, artist, playwright and printmaker, Kevin Gilbert (1933–1993). It features Douglas alongside the outstanding jazz and improvisation musicians from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music (SZCSoM), Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). The nature of this recording was particularly ambitious as a result of the challenges posed by asynchronous performance and recording (in response to the COVID-19 distancing restrictions), with the performers working across distance and differing time zones and restricted to recording from their respective home studios. Recording such as this enable students the privilege and rare opportunity to be mentored by artists in workshops, rehearsals, performances and the recording process gaining a deep understanding of collaboration with international leaders in the field. This unique student experience is a key pedagogical approach within the SZCSoM, that focuses on mentoring the emerging next generation of jazz and improvisation musicians.

– Paul Williamson, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Thank Yous

The project was made possible through a series of collaborations – between Dave Douglas, Greenleaf, and SZCSoM students, students from the Monash University School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash Alumni, and the SZCSoM Technical and Resource, Jazz and CMT staff. Importantly, this project was made possible through the support of the Monash University Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor and the team at the Monash Academy of Performing Arts.

Special thanks to Dave Douglas for his inspiration, mentoring, generous time and energy on this project. A big thanks to Daniel Tan, Hadyn Buxton, Karl Willebrant, Monica Ouk and Nathan Langridge for the quality and timely nature of their work. Thank you to the Monash University student performers for their creativity and professionalism. Thanks also to the jazz and improvisation staff at Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University: Paul Williamson, Robert Burke, Jordan Murray and Johannes Luebbers.

We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which the four Monash University Australian campuses stand.

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