2006 — Einstein’s Dreams

Einstein’s Dreams (It’s about time . . .) is an original multi-media musical work based on the book by Alan Lightman. The book contains several short daydreams the young Einstein might have had when he dozed off during his days as a patents clerk. The dreams contain examples of how time may be experienced.

Composed by Lorraine L. Whittlesey, the musical work sets several of those fantasies to music, featuring four soloists, chamber choir, narrator, winds, percussion, synthesizer and projected visual images of time.

Set to premier September 2006, interdisciplinary activities start in 2005 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the theory of relativity.

Sponsors: Einstein’s Dreams (its about time . . . ) is underwritten by Martin and Kelly Hill, and grants from Target Corporation and the Baker-King Foundation. Activities with the composer are funded in part through Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections program.

The Structure of the Work: The piece explores the musical potentials inherent in the concepts of each chapter in the book. For example, in one scene, based on pp. 148-152, pilgrims travel far to visit the ‘Temple of Time.” That section would employ chant together with percussion as the pilgrimage moves forward. In another scene people are divided into two groups: the Nows and the Laters. Laters feel they have all the time in the world, while Nows must get everything done immediately. All scenes will be dominated by a projection of a large clock that will morph into different shapes as the scenes change.

Listen to a performance of the work: