Steve Sandberg – ‘3 Songs from the Dream Music Project’

NYC-based musician Steve Sandberg puts his Dream Music Project in motion with three new songs, highlighting the artist’s gorgeous piano-led, lounge-friendly jazz sound — full of blissful atmosphere. Thematically, the project arose during the pandemic era in 2020, when Sandberg reached out to his mailing list and inquired about their dreams. Followers replied with a variety of incredible dreams, and Sandberg infused those experiences into these recordings.

“I got a lot of amazing dreams from my listeners,” Sandberg says. “Several dreams about being together peacefully and joyfully with departed family members; predictive dreams that indicated people would be healed from cancer; and many more.”

Opening with dynamic illustriousness, “The Man With the Quilted Face (hommage to Wayne Shorter)” features a piano-forward range from late-night subduedness into brighter enthusiasm. Jazzy rhythmic bolstering lends beautifully throughout, while the ensuing “Changing Room” details a more graceful, dreamier intrigue; this track excels in its patiently unfolding mystique, sending chills with the trickling piano and bass-y warmness. “Peek-A-Boo” continues that sense of lush immersion, concluding this trio of tracks with a satiating glow.

Sandberg elaborates on some of the tracks, specifically, and the dreams that inspired them:

Man with the Quilted Face is based on this dream: “The night before last, I had a very strange image. I encountered a very strange-looking man with a quilted face. We were friendly acquaintances. He was asking how I was in a sincere way, but his face was utterly bizarre. His skin was a patchwork of black and browns, woven like a placemat. At first glance, he might have looked like a burn victim, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t at all intimidating, just nice and normal in every other way.”

Changing Room is based on a personal dream of mine: I was a guest of a benevolent king! The king had a beautiful bathing area. You began by taking a shower in an elegant marble shower outdoors. Then you went into a pool, which flowed into a lake, which flowed into a river, which flowed into the ocean. A calm, expansive, peaceful dream which makes me think something all the ancient and modern mystics talk of – our individual consciousness flowing into something bigger and deeper. Peek-a-Boo is based on this dream: A child is dancing, but is very shy. A very young girl is supposed to be performing to a small audience, like a recital. I decide to draw her out by pretending to be shy and play peek-a-boo with her. It works. Children love peek-a-boo. The more I do it, the more she responds until she becomes much more extroverted, demonstrative, acting and, for this moment, really living her purpose.

“Changing Room” is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Rainy Days.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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