Sunday, October 15, 2017

SleepWalks: a CatNap at Stable Gate Farm, NY, 10/19/17, 8-10pm

Setting up for SleepWalks: A CatNap --->on the New Moon. This is when the lighted side of the Moon faces away from the Earth. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are almost in a straight line, with the Moon in between the Sun and the Earth. (Participants are arriving and noshing on Snacks that I forgot to take photos of---PB&J on whole grain sandwiches shaped like stars, terra chips, gluten free animal crackers, striped fudge cookies, whole milk, almond milk, water, and...

Mugwort Tea is used medicinally for calming nerves, helping with menstrual cycles, taming anxiety, and helping one have lucid dreams–ones where the dreamer is aware that one is dreaming and has at least some control over their dreamworld.

Talking about SleepWalks and SleepWalks: CatNaps to Participants Who Have Just Gotten is crackling. The premise of SleepWalks: CatNaps are based on knowledge of our history, that we used to have a first and second sleep as a culture. In-between sleeps for one or two hours, we would share our dreams with a partner (and/or have sex). Some would even leave the house to talk to neighbors, pray together, sew, or chop wood. Then, it was back to sleep for second sleep, a more restful sleep. Some literature shows that insomnia began being references about the time when sleep became more consolidated. This may be due to streetlamps, coffee shops, and other post-industrial changes to our every day culture.

Participants are then offered to choose either Lavendar Oil (for Calming) or Geranium Oil (for Comforting)

Dream Journals and Pens are then Handed Out and lights slowly dim and go out. Some participants may sleep, some may rest, some may lucid dream. I perform a 45-minute soundscape based on the theme of water with a palette of sounds that are somewhat composed, but mostly I improvise. Some effects are used, and some live instruments are used as well but always woven into the soundscape. 

The various soundscapes for this CatNap...that I remember...included sounds of a bell (live in mic), a stream, a waterfall, Santa Fe River downtown, downtown Santa Fe, playing a singing bowl near a roadway in Innsbruck, Austria, foghorns/boats/Pacific Ocean at night in the Headlands, CA, walking through a tunnel of active windchimes, a thunderstorm, walking on gravel, playing gamelan, playing a small singing bowl (live in mic), seeds, Native Americans who attend San Isidro Church and some invited visiting artists singing blessings to the river in Santa Fe, NM where the river was dry, singing bowls that were blessed at the oldest bell foundry in Austria, and crickets. It got a bit chilly as it took me awhile as I was immersed in performing to realize the fire had gone out. I tried to get it going quickly again at the very end of the performance. I didn't have a blanket, but participants did. However, it must have been noticeably cooler. 

Towards the end, I slowly activate the soundscape to help awaken participants. I played the sound of a gong sample along with ringing out a singing bowl in the room. I then slowly turn up the lights asking participants to begin to wiggle their fingers and toes. As they awaken, I ask that their experiences are to be written down in the dream journal. I usually collect them all at the end, however, for this CatNap I offered that if they like they could keep them. About half of the participants kept their journal, and some told me that they found it to be wonderfully introspective and personal. Below are journals from the participants who chose to share their experiences. 





Participants Then Get Into Groups, Meet Their Neighbors, and Discuss Their Experience Together After Their "First Sleep"

We then discuss "What Are Dreams?" together as a group. Scientists still do not know exactly what dreams are for, yet we spend about 25 years of our lives asleep and dreaming. Are they for collecting and organizing our thoughts from the daytime? Are they for problem solving? Are they VR simulators so we can take risks and not die, learning how to survive longer and better? Are they to connect with our elders, our ancestors for wisdom and spirituality? Are they to embody others to form understanding or send a message from beyond? Our group brought up each of these as reasons for dreaming. (sorry if I left off more, feel free to let me know and I can post more here.)

I then played an energizing large crystal singing bowl to awaken everyone to be able to get safely home for their second sleep. For this CatNap, I added a new thing...perhaps participants could also write down their experience after second sleep. Any dreams? What would they be like? I handed out my cards with earplugs attached to them so they could go to my website to go to where they could type in a dream. But perhaps uploading a photo of an entry in a physical dream journal would have been easier I realize in hindsight. I only received one reply, and no dreams were recalled by this participant. I myself did not remember a dream even though I set an intent. And I remembered that hm, well if second sleep used to be about having a more restful sleep, deep sleep is our most restful state of sleep. After deep sleep, we often do not recall our dreams when we wake up. 

Here is a CatNap participant's entry (Thank You!): 

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 
Maybe, but the recall is too vague

2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
So sorry! I slept pretty well, but wasn't able to capture any dreams last night...

I can describe a recurring dream that I used to have when I was much younger. A fleeing dream involving a rolling fire ball with glowing embers and a vein like structure! Running to get away, always getting closer, though sometimes I'd turn a corner, only to have it reappear a while later. Perhaps it was cyclical; never reached an end. But definitely a nightmare!

Went away maybe 20 years ago? After marriage and having kids? I guess age and stage of life shapes our dreamscapes.

Some images from last evening, is case you couldn't read the handwriting were of a black and white tessilated grainy image of. A human figure, spread eagle like, with a board in front of the as if confining them or barring their passage. ... And then another human, only manga like in its illustration, clambering about, perhaps reclining in a post and beam construction that looked something like the skeleton of a wooden ship, only more comical in its rendering. Thought I would at least share that!

Thanks again for last evening. The sounds were deep and gorgeous.

3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:

Here is my entry (I had not looked at the CatNap Journals yet nor had I read the other web entry yet):

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 

2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
I do not recall my dreams from last night. I did however, get inspired to draw before sleeping. I have been waiting for some art supplies that I ordered to reach me, and they arrived yesterday. I was eager to try out the new ink pens, ink and brush even though I was quite sleepy. I think because I had watched someone draw and ink a bug not long ago, but also the cricket sounds somehow lingered with me this time at the CatNap, I ended up drawing an insect, a large bug like a moth or fly in pen and turquoise ink. It was chewing a hole through a very large leaf. Grotesque? But when I looked at it, it was brightly colored, vibrant, and I did not perceive it as damaging but as creating an "opening" to get through to the other side, the sky. It was a way to look through and travel beyond. 

3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:

Here is a portion of my ink drawing:


A Big Thank You to Val, Stable Gate Farm, and all CatNap Participants! <3

SleepWalks: CatNap at Biocultura in Santa Fe, NM, May 2017!

Dream journals will be posted here shortly!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two Successful Performances of SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams! Art Exhibit continues through Wednesday October 26th!

Wow, what a wonderful performance and a great audience turn-out! 

Thanks to all!:

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams

Choreographer: Ellen Sinopoli

Louisa Barta
Maggia Ciambrone
Madeline Morser
André Robles
Sara Senecal
Laura Teeter

Art Director: Andrea Williams

Sound/Video: Andrea Williams

Composers: Lee Pembleton & Andrea Williams

EEG Data Correlations: Todd Anderson

Lighting Designer: Nicolas Nealon

Assistant Lighting Designer: Jess Hoffman

Costume Designer: K. Meta Reintsema

Please STAY TUNED for photos and video from the performance!

The art exhibit of SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams continues! It reveals behind-the-scenes of the multimedia dance performance that took place this weekend. You can view what dreams shaped the performance and what sounds. There is a correction--It is up until 9pm this Wednesday October 26th at the Chapel and Cultural Center, not on the 27th. There are printed guides to the art works available on-site.

Nice Story about SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams in the Albany Times Union!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams multimedia dance performance :: October 21st and 22nd!

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don’t know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives”.

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don’t know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives”.

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams is a fabulous collaboration of art and science, of data and dance...

The recalled collective dreams and strong dreamworld themes shared by September 2nd and 9th overnight SleepWalks participants are the source material for these one-hour dance performances. The music for these performances also comes from the overnight SleepWalks soundscapes by Lee Pembleton and Andrea Williams. Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company dancers transform themselves into the dreamer bodies as they are immersed in Andrea Williams’ video projection environments with lighting design by Nicolas Nealon. Reality blurs with the dreamworld as the dancers move back and forth between the reality of sleep and the revelation of our dreams.

Our SleepWalks overnight improvisational soundscapes that took place on September 2nd and 9th shaped the dreamworlds of participants. Due to participants wearing EEG headband readers provided by scientist, Todd Anderson, we were able to make correlations between our sounds and when participants were in R.E.M. or light sleep, most likely dreaming, and their dream journals if they wrote down times. We focused on the theme of WATER that encouraged water-themed dreams as well as collective dreams. Outcomes included individual dreams that incorporated the entire group, single participants, or one of the musicians. From the collective dreams and strong themes of participants, we created an art exhibit and the upcoming multimedia dance performance. All events take place at the Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy, NY. 

Tickets for SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams multimedia dance performance:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams Art Exhibit Opening on September 17th 1-2:30pm!

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams
Art Exhibit at the Chapel + Cultural Center 
September 17-October 27th, 2016

Please come to the OPENING RECEPTION 
on Saturday September 17th
1:00-2:30pm, Food and Drinks! 

at the Chapel and Cultural Center
2125 Burdett Ave, Troy, NY 12180

Let's chat about dreams and dreaming!
We spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don't know why exactly. That's about 25 years of the average 77 year lifespan!


The Art Exhibit from September 17th to October 27th will include ephemera and dream journals from two SleepWalks overnight improvised soundscape performances that created collaborative dreams for participants. That means that they saw each other in their dreams. There will also be hypnograms that reveal the stages of sleep of SleepWalks participants throughout the night. Dream ephemera from SleepWalks' archives from 2009 and onward will also be on display. SleepWalks is interested in the affect of sound on dreaming, especially on collaborative dreaming. Our long-term goal is to create soundwalks for sleeping dreamers.

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams
is an art exhibit and multi-media dance performance
based on the collaborative dreams of participants
of two SleepWalks overnight soundscape performances.

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams
multi-media dance performance
with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company,
Andrea Williams, Lee Pembleton, and Todd Anderson

at the Chapel + Cultural Center Troy, NY

October 21st and October 22nd, $10 Ticket

More info at:

Thank you to the Arts Center of the Capital Region/NYSCA for the Community Arts Grant, and Thank You to our Kickstarter Backers who help make these SleepWalks events happen!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

RVSP Your Spot for a SleepWalks overnight performance! :: September 2nd and September 9th

Sound artists Andrea Williams and Lee Pembleton use field recordings to improvise an eight-hour musical soundscape for an audience that sleeps overnight in the Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy, NY.  Participants are encouraged to then journal and share their dreams in the morning. In October, you can see your dreams incorporated into a new multi-media dance performance by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company! SleepWalks endeavors to discover the influence of sound on dream worlds. Wine, water, and snacks will be provided at the reception at 9pm (Doors to the event close at 9:30pm.), and also tea, coffee, and bagels will be provided in the morning. Please bring your own bedding, pillow, toiletries, and comfortable clothes for sleeping in. Please be prepared to stay until 9am September 3rd. Leaving early may disrupt sleep for others. Spots are limited for this FREE collective dreaming event for September 2nd and September 9th, 2016 at the Chapel + Cultural Center at 2125 Burdett Ave, Troy, NY 12180.

RSVP your spot via 

During SleepWalks, the performers record the sound samples that they use. Later, by reading the timestamp, they mark possible correlations between the sounds in the improvisation and writings from the participants' dream journals. The goal of this long-term project is to provide an engaging experience for collective dreaming and to compose soundwalks for dreamers. For this SleepWalks, we will be working with Dr. Todd Anderson of Sheep Dog Sciences once again. Participants of SleepWalks can volunteer (mention in your RSVP) to wear one of six comfy wireless EEG headbands for September 2nd. (Six dancers from Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company will be wearing the six wireless EEG headbands for September 9th SleepWalks.)

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams is a multimedia performance that presents dance choreography and visual  art  derived  from  SleepWalks' participants' collaborative  dream  journal  entries and  sleep  data  collected  with the EEG biosensors during the September 2nd and September 9th SleepWalks. Since  the  project began  in  2009,  SleepWalks  participants have  had  high  dream  recall  rates  of collaborative dreams. The SleepWalks participants  see  each  other  and  are  meeting the  same goals  in  the dream. In this performance we hope  to  take SleepWalks a  step further and the recalled collaborative dreams shared by willing participants will  then become the director or choreographer for an on-­stage  dance performance to reveal the body of dreams.  The  dancers portray the dreamer bodies in video projection environments. The music for the final piece would  be  taken  from the  soundscape that  was  performed while  the collaborative dream was taking place.

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams has kindly received a Community Arts NYSCA grant through The Art Center of the Capital Region of Troy, NY to bring our SleepWalks to you for free. We also have received funding via our fans via SleepWalks has been performed at numerous venues including Issue Project Room, NYC; Soundwave Festival at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco; Diapason Gallery, NYC; Parsons Hall Gallery, MA; and Mills College, Oakland, CA as part of The Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival. 

SleepWalks does not use spoken word as part of their guided dreaming. We do not use hypnosis, subliminal, nor subconscious verbal manipulation. Rather, we create an audio travelogue of abstract soundscapes; suggestions of environments.

Check out info on our project including a video and audio interview on our Kickstarter page: here: