Fellini Dreaming

Fellini Dreaming (2012)

(for for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, and percussion)

In 2008, I came across a recently-published book, Federico Fellini - The Book of Dreams (Rizzoli International Publications Inc. NYC) consisting of 583 pages of drawings and writings by the Italian film director Federico Fellini, describing in great detail the wildly imaginative, fantastic dreams he himself experienced during the years 1960-1968 and 1973-1990. Particularly interesting to me was his dream from February 5, 1965 in which a frantic phone conversation with his mother follows the tragi-comic death of the circus elephant of his childhood. I immediately thought of the similarity between this dream and his 1970 film “The Clowns”.

Fellini Dreaming shares some of the elements of “The Clowns”: an innocence and directness beneath a surface of eccentricity, the unexpected transformation of ordinary things and the unpredictably wild development of simple materials.

This piece was commissioned by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation for the New Music Works Ensemble.