Oneirostation – Additional Notes

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Notes

The synopsis below represents the last of many drafts of this abandoned project in which the plot, number of characters, and order of events varied greatly. Most of the “action” was to be portrayed in the staging (including supertitles, slides, and video) while the libretto focused more on dream-imagery. As such, the libretto excerpts below generally do not have an obvious correlation with the events in the synopsis.

In OneiroStation, transitions are intentionally vague between stories and dreams. Stories-within-stories, dreams-within-dreams, stories-within-dreams and vice versa abound. It is also left unclear from which point, if any, the “real lives” of the characters begin, end, or resume.

Synopsis

The first part

Adam and Danielle have a picnic alongside a grassy forest path. Together they tell the story of a 5-year old boy named Adam. (They both speak in third person, so no clear connection is made between child Adam and adult Adam.) Child Adam fell from a merri-go-round and skinned his knee. He did not cry and in his pain an epiphany came to him. He constructed and detonated a world-ending bomb – a rather odd-looking bomb with a crucified rat enmeshed in the wiring and mounted within a washing machine.

Danielle mentions without explanation that she was Adam as a little boy, even though she looked different as a child. She recalls how as a little boy, she found herself living in a dream.

The second part

Danielle shares a series of haunting dreams. In what is either the last of these dreams or some of Adam’s memories, Adam is a farmer tilling his fields with a hoe when the catastrophic explosion occurs. He transforms into a new being of his own creation called “numbereleven” and has a series of dreams in which he murders everyone he cares for and then unwittingly becomes enslaved to his doppelganger. Danielle rescues him; they escape his doppelganger’s house by disintegrating (achieved by shivering at a great speed) and flowing down a shower drain.

Danielle leads numbereleven on a journey through an upside-down mountain chain. They follow a trap door on the ground and, crossing a threshold where they find their orientation altered, ascend a ladder through a vertical shaft. They eventually emerge through another trap door into a wooden cabin populated by a corpse and an array of cobwebbed robots. Numbereleven finds a note in the corpse’s hand (which is possibly from Adam) about OneiroStation, a transit hub of dreams. After reading, they go outside into the woods where they see themselves picnicing (as in the beginning of part one). They ponder if they have time-traveled.

Danielle suddenly has a vision that it is imperative they journey to OneiroStation. They travel separately and alone in their dreams, seeking answers to questions they can not phrase. Simultaneously they converge (from opposite directions) through wheat fields upon the facade of what appears to be an old train station. Stepping inside, they find themselves in a beautiful building containing a chandelier hanging from an open sky, marble floors with a river flowing through the center, and an upside-down mountain chain where the far wall might have been. The opera ends without resolution as Danielle and Adam/numbereleven try to determine the significance of being in OneiroStation and ponder whether they are really the same fragmented person, and if they are dreaming and/or dead.

Excerpts from the libretto

1) Seven glimpses of an overture

2) Autumn

I was born in an Autumn
Leaves whirled in wind.
It is Autumn again.
She leaves the world on wind.
Fall gently once again…

Our small universe is easy to understand.
There are two of them.

I was doing what was done to say I was the doer.
I did these things simply to do something
so something could be done.

3) Contented September inside

Somewhere in my heart
there’s still a contented September inside.
Feel the warm September breeze
take me out of the reach of
all our problems’ grasping hands.

Her note said
“Gone to the place that no one rules.”
That could be anywhere.
Put out an APB. Put out an APB.

Leaves we don’t need you anymore.
Summer’s last gasp has long since
been absorbed into the horizon.

4) Gray day of winds

Gray day of winds.
Many leaves fall.

I am on solid ground hovering over the lion’s den.
Tall grass under a brilliant moon.
A starry sky for kissers in Hollywood movies.
Fade to black.
Rode on back of an Oryx into El Dorado wanting nothing.

Dream again now here’s a haiku:
Bluebird swoops past me
as I ride my bicycle
through the fallen leaves.

Find the right frequency for Lazarus-dreams.
Leaves fall into dreams.

5) World of doors

Darkness.
Flash-bulb images appear counterclockwise
overlapping, a horrific and baffling chaos
superimposed with clarity.

In a world of Doors.
Black hallway with gray doors. Each one leads to a dream or memory or dreamt-memory.

Wavering spindle-footed in the galapagos.

Chairs walking around the room and skipping jump rope.
Ropes jumping nowhere near the beat,
the beat that’s shimmering and wavering,
wavering translucently into a mist of beings prehistoric.

In a mist my mind moves downward in my head
like rain collected on a window sill,
pouring as striking workers into the street.

Time is looping over itself now into a mist of beings prehistoric
and it takes time to sink to the bottom of a pudding bowl.
Please stop
stop and take me home on the next incoming breeze.

6) Interlude (from whirling cinders of untamed mind)

7) I drive slow dreams

I drive slow dreams of aging gracefully
languid dreams …
when whimsical tides wash over my body
and the din of the highways is magnified
to reveal whale-speak.

I drive alone through the streets of a vacant city.
TVs flicker through the windows.
No-one’s watching.
Where lies the land?
Take the corner tight.
Take the corner faster into oblivion.
Churning black of metallic dawn in abandoned cities with TVs still on.

8) Circle path

I’ve been traveling, travailing
uncountable endless unsurpassable distances.
From the sidewalk,
down the walkway,
up the porchstairs,
open the door and the horizon ends.

Step inside.
Ceiling and walls add to
the barometric pressure
like someone pushing me down the drain.

A helicopter flies out of the cold night
We walked the circle path but where did we go?
Into the cold night where elongated shadows can exist
in several sizes all at the same time.

9) Part two

Part two, where a new plot begins.
Does a new plot begin?
Fall to the ground, leaves of mine.
Like brother snow on the ground,
caught by the wind we will scatter.

Now part two
The apple cart will be stuck
in the frozen earth
on a raw morning not long from now.

I breathe hot breath on my
frosted window of multi-
colored glass before sleep.

In the stillest hour of night
I go back to the window
where the faces of strangers stare at me.
I pull down the shade terrified.

10) A shock to the system

A shock to the system.
The ocean is just a road.
A road of dreams
with waves of feeling,

What am I doing
driving dreams without my wetsuit on?
The leaves now have fallen.
I must be brief; time’s folded upon itself now.
This piece is unraveling.
This place is too.

11) Interlude (slow the speed of life)

12) Song (a gentle sleep sleeps gently across your mind)

13) Lake Tahoe

When I was a very little boy,
I ran away to my friend’s house around the corner.
It was a rainy day.

If you started driving now
we could wake in Lake Tahoe before dawn
in a day or two.

Dreamt a large room
cramped with people.
Everyone was waiting for a show to begin
but there was no stage.
I asked the guy standing next to me,
“Why are you here?”
He said,
“I’m here because I’m dreaming too.”
Everyone nodded.

Driving down the highway while lost in lucid dream.

14) Interlude (cat)

15) Interlude (stupid people/clown suit)

16) On still mornings

on still mornings
I walked the damp cold stone mansion corridor
to the cavernous hall of baths

17) Pilot

Walls spin clockwise
while floor spins counter-clockwise.
I sit on the shore spinning
as my mind rotates end over end.
I walked 2000 miles to the
first place I could sit down.

Mind flies down through an open field
between upside-down snowcapped mountains.

Pilot, where are you taking me?
There is no pilot and this means nothing.
Senses, where are you taking me?
‘Cause this is senseless and this means nothing.
Someone bursts in laughing.
The ironlung of pertinence gone.
On the shores of Panthalassa I wait for you.
To walk in your arms
out through the cold field of snakes.
I fall to the sand feverishly metamorphosing
on the spare mattress
where I enter my chrysalis
and this means nothing.

18) Song (let’s gain entrance into silence)

19) Song (dirge)

20) Ice cream

I crashed the car. Crashed into hints of something not yet found.
Life is honeysuckle sucking on honeysuckle.
Let me try to explain.
This is where things go back to normal.
I always liked ice cream after school.
So this is ice cream after school.

21) Two preludes to a finale

Kids think I’m nuts. Adults hate my guts.
Animals seem to like me…

Bang. Make a list. Call up those people.
Make sure we’re not dead.

22) Traces of a finale

(Gentle sleep sleeps gently across our minds.
Thoughts are gently floating in the breeze.)

I’m glad you made it here.
You’re standing at the precipice
and the wind’s louder than sound.
This must be where…

(Where was the halcyon?
You’ll never catch me.
I will run eternally.)

Please don’t let the summer end
Parched in sunlight’s time to spend
With leaves that fall through other worlds.

Please don’t let the summer end.
Speed of lifetimes I could spend
Eating Lotus flowers with you.

Writing letters to a friend
Please don’t let the summer end
With leaves that fall through other worlds.

Please don’t let the summer end
I have so much time to spend.
When I die, will I still be an ocean?

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