At once sweeping and intimate, Dream and Variations is an eclectic collection of musical vignettes performed by Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra, a hand-picked 70-piece ensemble and 32-voice choir. It was recorded at Warner Bros. Studios' Eastwood Stage, and is a unique blending of instruments, vocalists and musical styles, all within a symphonic framework.
Moved by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he and lyricist Tom Child were moved to write the haunting and soulful "End of Days" (sung by Lisbeth Scott), as a lament and prayer to the city of New Orleans. This set off a flurry of writing and from that initial inspiration arose what would become Dream and Variations, nine pieces that complete an American musical mosaic.
Session great Dan Higgins performs the impressionistic soprano saxophone on the title track. Trevor Rabin (film composer and former member of Yes) wields a guitar that soars over the top of "Where Do We Go From Here?". Jazz pianist Russell Ferante of The Yellowjackets is featured throughout, along with notable string players Dave Stone (upright bass), Sid Page (violin), and Steve Erdody (cello).
While the seed of Dream and Variations was planted in tragedy, the work itself is uplifting, confident and hopeful, owing in large part to its hybrid of jazz, Americana, rock, spirituals, blues, and even a touch of ethnic flute and bluegrass performed by a world-class ensemble. "A symphony orchestra with an identity crisis", Harper admits, "Just like America".
"Thanks for caring so much about music. You make my heart sing! This is a CD that should inspire younger generations to seek out the glories of melody and harmony" - Roger Kellaway
Includes other featured performances by:
Karen Harper-Vocals-"O Sacred Head, Now Wounded"
Tim Davis - Vocals - "When You Close Your Eyes"
Fred Selden-Ethnic Woodwinds