Symphonic Theater Of Dreams is a tribute to Dream Theater. A band highly acclaimed in the progressive metal scene for more than two decades, Dream Theater has a huge following all across the globe. Michal Mierzejewski, Polish conductor and composer and a dedicated Dream Theater fan, had the idea in summer 2010 that he wanted to arrange Dream Theater songs in a 'classical' environment that had never been done before.
Of course, most fans know that Dream Theater performed a one-off live show at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York back in 2006 with a full orchestra, but this is something else...
Also in 2010, Michal posted a short teaser on YouTube and posted it on all the Dream Theater related forums (with short snippets of "The Count of Tuscany" and "The Best of Times"). This immediately caught the eye of Mike Portnoy (former drummer of the band) and he was very pleasantly surprised by this project. Quote: "This looks like it's gonna be an EPIC symphonic tribute to DT". Michal was very honored by this.
All the fans around the world were very excited by this short clip and the reactions were beyond Michal's expectations. There was no turning back now. Michal had to go through with this project. So in the months to come he contacted other people who wanted to be part of this special project.
Most hardcore Dream Theater fans will recognize the name, Stephen van Baalen from Holland (aka SteveTheater / www.steve-art.net). He is known for numerous pieces of unofficial DT art which he posts on many DT related forums beginning two years ago. He also won a big competition on Mike Portnoy's forum two years ago: a contest to come up with a new look for the site. Steve won this hands down.
Michal contacted Steve and asked if he was interested in making artwork for STOD. But with a zero budget the odds where slim. His first reaction was "Now with my own business going skyrocket these last few months I can't make artwork anymore without getting paid for my work". But for Michal he made an exception, "Michal, it would be an honor to be part of this project, I will make all artwork and a website for free, consider it done!"
Later on Michal also posted a contest on the forums where the fans could choose what songs they wanted to hear on the upcoming CD. Now, almost a year later here we are... the website is finished, all the artwork is done, and we all wait for what Michal has prepared with the orchestra for us...
After many years of preparations, many months of composition and transcription, huge amount of hours spent in the rehearsal rooms and recording studios, and countless time devoted to caress the material and hard work.
We give to your hands, the result of our long-standing, very demanding, but how fruitful work. I got to know the work of Dream Theater when I went to second grade school (2003). And I fell in love with their creativity, passion and virtuosity. Even then, I dreamed to shake musicians’ hands and thank them for their work. For me, it was a dream that would never come true.
After many years, living with the thought that the meeting with the band is virtually impossible, I decided to thank them – using my love for composition and arrangement – and create a symphonic tribute to the group. In 2010, I wanted to realize my idea of creating a short audio, created with the help of artificial orchestra (VST plug-ins).
Knowing the costs of recording the real orchestra, I had to forget about a professional recording session.
I published my work on YouTube and made the links available on Dream Theater members’ forums. SToD was received very warmly by the fans, but subsequent events exceeded my wildest expectations. Mike Portnoy noticed the movies and published one of them on his social network profiles. "This looks like it’s gonna be an EPIC symphonic tribute to DT".
After these words, there was no turning back, but I still could not believe that the idea and this project actually make sense. I created a survey to let the fans choose the songs they would like to hear on the record. I made a selection from between the votes and at the request of Jordan Rudess I sent him the whole idea of the project and plans for the months to come.
I invited to the project two incredible men - graphic designer Stephen van Baalen and the amazing French horn player Marc Papeghin. Together we created the first demo (Sacrificed Sons released in September 11th, 2011). The demo was recorded by several orchestral musicians and VST plug-ins. The number of downloads was so big that I saw no other way: I wanted to fulfill my dream - a professional record by the entire symphonic orchestra, a tribute to the icons of progressive rock. In the second half of September 2011, I chose a manager of the project - Ms. Wioletta Jedynak.
We knew very well that this would not be an easy project. Costs and difficulty of the material implied a huge risk. After many discussions, we decided that our project must be completed, professionally recorded and released.
In November 2011, we began auditions and preparations for incredibly demanding recording sessions. Auditions were held in three concert halls in Gdansk and lasted two months. Recording sessions began in January and ended in August 2012 (the work was divided into 4 sessions spread out in time). The recordings took place in three studios and the realization was overseen by three sound designers. The team of Symphonic Theater of Dreams consists of about 80 people. Special guests from the USA, France, Germany and the Netherlands are involved in our project.
We would like to thank you for all the years of incredible support and your patience. We appreciate very much the fact that you are with us for so long, and you believe in us and the success of our crazy idea.
Our project is no ordinary instrumentation, rewriting note to note, and mapping perfectly the original idea of Dream Theater. SToD is a project that is limited only by imagination.
It’s our passion, our unique interpretation and love for music, which in our case is classical music progressive rock/metal synesthesia. The result of this merger is left to your opinion...
We invite you to listen to an extremely complex tribute to Dream Theater - beautiful themes, powerful guitar riffs, "impossible" solos presented by the symphonic orchestra Sinfonietta Consonus under the direction of Ariel Ludwiczak and me.
With huge thanks,