A Child’s Garden of Dreams

Interview with Tiffany Woods (2003)

In May 2003, Tiffany Woods emailed David a series of questions in the course of writing a paper. She was a student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and taking a Band Literature course with Dr. John Locke. David wrote a thorough response. The interview has been excerpted from their correspondence and interleaved here. It has been lightly edited for spelling and style.

Tiffany Woods: I’ve read your interview with saxophonist Russell Peterson and first I want to talk a little about your compositional process and you referred to what you termed “active imagining.” While to some degree this makes sense in terms of a ‘programmatic’ piece, such as A Child’s Garden of Dreams and maybe even the Mass, when you sit down to “compose a symphony” does the same concept still apply?

David Maslanka: “Active Imagining” is a term used by the psychologist Carl Jung. It is a way of moving the conscious mind into the space of the unconscious. They closest thing to it that most people do is daydreaming. The difference is in being aware that it is happening, and in finding ways to deepen the experience. The result is that it is possible to approach the unconscious directly and to ask for the direction or energy that wants to become music. The process applies equally to all kinds of music. It isn’t about whether the music has a story, but about opening the channel […]

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 34, Julian Velasco’s Interview of Gary Green

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Julian Velasco's interview of Gary Green from the Wharton Center in East Lansing, MI from October 24, 2017.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 33, John Floridis’s Interview of David

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature an episode from Montana Public Radio's Musician's Spotlight featuring John Floridis interviewing David about his music and background as a composer.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 32, Julian Velasco’s Interview of David – Part 2

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Part 2 of Julian Velasco's interview of David from his home in Missoula, MT in 2016.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 31, Julian Velasco’s Interview of David – Part 1

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Part 1 of Julian Velasco's interview of David from his home in Missoula, MT in 2016.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 29, David on Dreaming and the Unconscious Mind

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature a speech David gave on matters of dreaming and the unconscious mind before a performance of A Child's Garden of Dreams by the James Madison University Wind Symphony.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 69, Dream Space

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions (of which there are literally dozens to choose from) that explore a vast array of dream space: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Traveler, and California.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 63, Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr.

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr. and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Wind Ensemble championed: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Symphony No. 4, and Tears.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 48, Water Music

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we continue to look at more of David's music that uses water as a symbol or motif: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Sea Dreams: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble, and UFO Dreams: Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Ensemble, Movement II - "The Water is Wide."

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 39, Dreams & Meditations

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three compositions that specifically mention "dreaming" or "meditation" in their title: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Movement I, Sea Dreams: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble, Movement III, and Recitation Book, Movement I, "Broken Heart: Meditation on the chorale melody Der du bist drei in einigkeit."

The Nature of Consciousness: Correspondence

We’d love to encourage you to write to David with questions or comments that you have about his music. He loves hearing your thoughts and feelings. Get in touch on the Contact page.

June 6, 2015: Mark Weidenaar wrote David with the following question:

How does your knowledge of consciousness impact the music you write, and how do you feel your music has evolved along with your own personal journey?

David responded as follows:

Your question is pretty much all-inclusive! Not so easy to get at, but I will try to give some ideas. I don’t think of music as depicting consciousness but as a manifestation of it. Music is not “about” consciousness, but the thing itself in sound. When I am working with performers I might use images and stories to give them a personal context, but fundamentally and persistently I am giving them permission to allow the full value of each musical element. The permission idea is a really important one. I can give them the safe place to open themselves fully. Ideally this is what conductors do. It takes a centered sense of self, and a developed musical imagination. The key issue here is that each musical moment can and must be actively imagined by the conductor, and through that, consciously opened in the players. Much music making is relatively passive, without full conscious engagement by the performers. You can get okay performances, but it will be the happy and relatively rare accident when real heat shows up.

The question of […]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:009 June 2015|A Child's Garden of Dreams, Correspondence|

Remarks before the premiere of A Child’s Garden of Dreams, Book 2

Remarks made 7 December 2008 in Boone, NC before the premiere of A Child’s Garden of Dreams, Book 2, by the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, James Allen Anderson, conductor.

I’m not going to say too much about the music here, but I do want to comment on how things go. The original Child’s Garden of Dreams piece was written in 1981. It became a piece well-known to the wind band world and has since that time had literally hundreds of performances here and around the world. This other piece, written for orchestra in 1989, is now having its premiere performance after nearly 20 years of trying to interest people.

Jim Anderson and I have been acquainted since the year 2000 when he was at the University of Montana. I wrote music for him then and then have subsequently written another piece, Symphony No. 6, which he performed and recorded here four years ago. So now he has taken on this new piece, something which spoke to him. When he first became aware of it, he had the deep feeling that this belonged to him, that he had to engage himself with it and to bring it into life.

And that’s how music goes. It deeply grabs and engages and I’m required, I’m compelled to do what I do. For better or worse, I’m compelled to do it.

I wanted to say just a bit about the nature of music in our world today. You have any […]

Some things that are true: Reflections on being an artist at the end of the 20th century

Society of Composers Incorporated Region VIII Conference, University of Montana at Missoula. Keynote address by David Maslanka – November 20, 1998

As soon as one speaks about “truth” there will be objections. Since we live in time and with change, it can be argued that all values and conditions are relative, and that “true” is what works best in any set of circumstances. So, in talking about truth I acknowledge the reality we live in, but I also must acknowledge the absolute values upon which our world of relative values rests.

We live in relativity, and yet music touches a timeless resonance in us, and we are drawn into perceptions that go absolutely beyond this life and this time. I think the central fascination with the feeling nature of sound and with the truth of feeling is what drew us all to music in the first place, and what continues to draw and fascinate us all our lives. I can’t defend the truth of artistic perception in any empirical way. After all the arguments about the relative or absolute nature of things, about the nature of feeling, the validity of personal feeling, the nature of human nature, there is that thing in each of us – quite beyond the quirks of personality – that perceives rightness. And when that “click of rightness” happens, we are satisfied at a soul level. I want to talk about that experience and how it has guided me in three areas: the evolution of a musical language, […]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0020 November 1998|A Child's Garden of Dreams, Chamber Music, Philosophy|

An Analytical Study of David Maslanka’s A Child’s Garden of Dreams

The five movements of A Child’s Garden of Dreams are inspired by five dreams selected from Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols. Dr. David Booth’s doctoral dissertation on A Child’s Garden of Dreams provides an analysis of each of the work’s five movements as a narrative. Booth’s explanations of musical gestures and structure in the composition reference the five dreams while providing the context of the musical material as it was constructed from the composer’s perspective. The dissertation further provides transcripts of interviews with David along with a biographical sketch.

PDF available through the following website:

http://www.proquest.com/products-services/dissertations/

By |2016-08-22T21:33:54+00:0031 May 1994|A Child's Garden of Dreams, Reference|