Lacus Somniorum means ‘Lake of Dreams’. The piece was inspired by those typical phenomena that may occur in dreams or while falling asleep. These are phenomena most people seem to be familiar with, such as the sensation of falling down suddenly, hearing obscure voices, the occurrence of abrupt changes in perceived surroundings and atmosphere, generally unstable situations, the occurrence of strange symbolism or suggestions, the feeling of ungrounded anxiety or paralysis, the occurrence of various types of ‘improprieties’ or ‘impossibilities’ in certain situations or actions, and the overall contrast between clear events and relative vagueness.
In composing Lacus Somniorum, the attempt was made to have the feel or atmosphere of these phenomena reflected in both the selection of materials and the selection of methods used for processing them. The primary aim thereby was to express in an abstract way the unstable atmosphere and transformative workings, so typical to dreams, through the interplay of specific musical gestures and textures. To that end, various types of suggestive materials, derived from both concrete and abstract sources, were transformed and amalgamated in various ways, to be constructed later into finely detailed segments and intricate textures.
Throughout the entire piece, an important role is assigned to the interaction between flowing, tuneful materials on the one hand, and abrupt, grating materials on the other. In the ongoing dynamic between the different layers of segments and textures that occur in the piece, one abstract musical space continuously transforms into the next. This happens in different ways, both at higher levels of form and at lower, more detailed levels of gesture. However, none of these musical spaces, in their instability, turn out to be final or ‘true’, and therefore the listener will eventually never find a solid ground.
Lacus Somniorum was realized in 2000 in the composer’s studio, and was commissioned by the Dutch composer's fund NFPK+. The piece was awarded a mention in the 2001 Prix Ton Bruynèl competition for electronic music, and was released on the compilation CD 'His Master's Noise' by BV Haast Records.