Dreaming in Darkness

Åke Parmerud

Dreaming in Darkness

  • Åke Parmerud
  • Year of composition: 2005
  • Duration: 11:29
  • Instrumentation: 6-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T2050131171

What does someone who cannot see dream about? What happens during sleep in a mind to which images of the world are primarily perceived through sound? Dreaming in Darkness is an attempt to create surrealistic fragments of a blind person’s dreams. The piece gradually develops from a starting point which resembles the soundtrack of a film where ambiences and situations change through the opening and closing of doors. Gradually the “representative” sounds are replaced by more abstract and musical material, displacing the character of realism towards an acoustic “in-between” where the boundary between the representative and the imagined is erased.

This piece originated as an experimental collaboration with composer Natasha Barrett. We decided to compose with sounds that we would exchange with each other. The idea was to see how the compositional process is affected by not being able to choose the sounds yourself but rather having to develop a relationship based on another person’s choice and preferences. For various reasons, both pieces went astray from the concept. However, we both ended up using sound sources from each other. In this piece, the sounds from Natasha enter the stage as the piece progresses into the more abstract part of its development.


Dreaming in Darkness was realized in 2005 at the studio of the GRM in Paris (France) and premiered on March 25, 2006 in Salle Olivier Messiaen of Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the Ina-GRM. Thanks to Natasha Barrett.


  • March 25, 2006, Multiphonies 2005-06: Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)