The Dreamwork Project

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It´s possible to say the The Dreamwork Project started 20 – 25 years ago, around the beginning/middle of the 2000s. Before I even knew I had a Dreamwork Project. From a very early age I have been collecting melodies, choruses, basslines, beats and lyrics; music ideas that for some strange reason have just popped into my head. In the beginning when I started receiving the music I did not have any way to saving it so I know I have lost a lot of music ideas during the first years. However, I soon began humming/singing (the best I could) the melodies into cassette tapes, and towards the end of the 90s mini discs, and started to save my first music that way. I was very young when I started doing this and even if it could take ages before I got a new song idea, at one point I started having quite a few of them in my collection. The problem was that I did not know what to do with them.

I have always had a strong interest in music but I have not grown up in a music environment, so I have never had anyone who could push me towards music. That means that I unfortunately never learned to play any music instruments, which I deeply regret today. I have also been «blessed» with an exceptionally bad singing voice, which means that I have never been able to sing my own demos in a proper way. In the beginning I tried to sing my own demos because it was the only way I thought I could put these ideas down, but it sounded absolutely horrible and of course you don’t exactly want anyone to hear it when it`s not listenable. This became a very big issue for me as I grew up because my collection of music ideas increased year by year, my interest in music got bigger but I never got around to, and had the guts to, learning to play and sing – which definately would have helped me later on.

I remember that when I was 14, 15, 16 years old I started dreaming about making a music album. Back then the dream was to sing the songs myself, but of course I knew that the lack of a singing voice would be a big problem to fulfill that dream. I had already started making some imaginary albums with the songs I had created up until that point with  «cool» album titles – which of course was a fun game because it seemed so professional to do it like that. In the early 2000s I started up studies in several different creative educations from film & TV to advertising/communication. But deep inside what I really really wanted to do was to find a way to release the music I had and a lot of time during studies was spent thinking about all these songs – I just did not know how to do it and I did not know anybody who could help me and whom I felt comfortable presenting my music ideas to.

Many of the songs that have ended up being recorded for the Dreamwork project were conceived from 2005 to 2010. Initially, I had the idea to create a Norwegian speaking album called «1001 natt» (1001 nights). I started making configurations of the album from the songs I had trying to imagine which songs that would fit together and make a great album. I was going for a Michael Jackson inspired record and my songs were created with his sound in my head.  

«The project lists»

When I started up the production of the «Dreamwork» project in 2018 I had a whole list of songs that could be potential contenders to be recorded. Even though I had put together a final album of songs I was never sure if I had selected the right ones and the selected songs were always in danger of being exchanged with another one on the list. And when I say list I really mean lists, because I wrote several lists with mostly the same songs and they ended up on the wall in my apartment. Just like Michael Jackson wrote on his bathroom mirror that he wanted to sell 100 million records of his «Bad» album, I wrote these lists and put up on my wall both for motivation and to constantly be able to be in a thinking process about which songs I should go for. This way, I could look at the lists everyday and I could dream myself away to the day when the music was all finished and ready to be released.   

I think that the first list might be the one on the clear white paper. I had written the songs that I wanted to have on the list on computer but I kept adding songs to the list with pen, so the list just got longer and longer. I even attached a yellow post-it note to the list as there was not enough room on the paper.

I think the second list might have been the one written with blue pen on a square paper. That list consists of both English and Norwegian songs and has 30 original songs and 10 «bonus songs» on it.

Eventually, I wrote new lists with only about 20 songs, which means that I had cut down on the list. There are two lists written in red with the title «Dreamwork» that has 20 and 21 songs. I am not sure which one was first but both of them have mostly the same songs but none have the actual album song order. The most notable thing for me with these two lists is that I had written the price for the production and the vocals for each song so I could keep control on the finances. 

The third list with the title «Dreamwork» written in red has just the actual album order written down, 10 songs, plus one extra single that I was thinking about. On this list I mark out when a song was finished with a marker. I think that I marked with yellow when the vocals had been recorded and with green when the song was all finished produced and mixed. The single on that list was dropped. In addition, I had a list hanging beside it on the wall with the EP project. It says «»Sexy suit EP», which was the first name of the project, and had an early configuration listed.

Then there is a list which says «tidslinje», or in English, «Timeline». Here I tried to have control about which songs that would be recorded when but this timeline list did not turn out to be correct. Several songs on it ended up not being part of the project after all and the timeline schedule was useless.

The last list I had on the wall is a New Year’s resolution for the year 2020 that I wrote 29th December 2019. It consisted of 4 things: 

  1. Finish the Dreamwork album
  2. Record the single «Timeplan, de sa!»
  3. Start the «Sexy suit EP»
  4. Remix songs to dance versions

Out of these four things, two of them ended up being done. The Dreamwork album was completed just before Christmas 2020, but mastered in February 2021. Still, the music was completed in 2020 so I consider that resolution to be valid. And, I started up the «Sexy Suit EP» in 2020. It ended up changing title to «Summer EP» along the way but it´s still the same project. I also thought about doing an extra single and dance remixes of some songs but those two things were dropped. I will say that the two important things from my 2020 New Years´s resolution were fulfilled.

«The Dreamwork Project» consists of one album and one EP and is my unrealistic life project that turned out to be realized. The chances that this music was ever going to be recorded and be something else than poorly executed instrumental demos lying around on my computer was almost like zero. I actually never thought it would happen myself, but it all happened because of that lifelong hunger to make something out of the music I had in me, and the fact that I did not give up in the beginning when it did not work out with the first producer. It has taken a lot of dreaming, planning, frustration, time and not least dedication to come through with this project. 

I have also had a friend that I have used as a «project consultant» from before we started recording anything that I have talked to for hundreds of hours probably. We have discussed everything about the project and when I was frustrated about the progress and did not know what to do he came with very good advice. So there is a lot of luck also here because if I had not had his views and advice during this time the project could very well also have been ended. 

Another factor that I am sure is part of the reason the project has become more than just a dream is that I am single. That’s a very strange thing to say but it´s actually true. It´s no secret that I have spent a lot of money from my own savings on the project. Fortunately I have had summer jobs and been able to save up some cash during the years, and I have never been a globetrotter who has spent money on traveling. I have never been interested in cars or something like that, either. So instead of spending the money on travels or cars I decided I could spend it on realizing my music dream instead, which I call an «investment in self-realization». However, IF I had a family with kids and all, I doubt that I would feel that I could prioritize spending that money on myself and my dream. I believe I would have felt that I needed to spend it on the family instead and let my music dream go. It´s not often one can say that being single is a good thing, but in this exact situation it probably was an important factor that I felt I could spend the money on my dream project.

First list with added post-it.
List with timeline, which ended up not being followed.
The second list.
Another list with songs for the project.
List with songs for the project.
New Year’s Resolution for 2020 written 29th December 2019.
Songs marked in green as «finished».
List of early configuration of the «Summer EP» project.
Side 2 of the first list of songs for the project.