Cursed by a Dream

Some creative people make a successful career from their art. Most don’t. It’s not uncommon for me to get asked the question as to why I continue to make music over so many years given my relative obscurity. The answer is – because I’m compelled to do so! It’s an obsessive pursuit to try and make audible what I hear in my head. The twist here is that I’m describing it as a curse.

MUSIC

“Cursed by a Dream” went through three distinct versions over several years. It was the companion song to “Saturn’s Sun”, which I wrote around the same time. In fact, I deliberated over which song to release as a single.

“Cursed by a Dream” started off with a 12/8 time signature and a Beatlesque swing, which sounded a little bit OMD. Whilst this would have worked on a previous Space March album such as my debut or Mountain King, it wasn’t right for this album. As a ballad, the arrangement is somewhat sparse compared to many of the other album tracks, but in a similar fashion to the other tracks, it has a strong contrast between the verse and chorus stylings. On the synthpop to synthwave ratio, this one definitely swings towards synthpop, but it’s still strong with the 80s retro vibe.

LISTEN

LYRICS

The essence of the song is about the uneasy relationship between art and commerce. The lyrics present a series of paradoxes – that money is both the solution and the problem; that the dream is both a curse and a necessary distraction from reality.

So, you are cursed by a dream
You learn to forget what you’ve seen
In your mind and in your soul
There is nothing else
Nothing else you want to do
You can’t make it pay, what to do?
So, you are cursed by a dream
You trace every step where you’ve been
And you feel like you’re wrong
You should do something else
Crush your soul and let it go
Find a job where no one knows you

One state of mind is always dreaming
Distracting us from everything that’s real
You might be the only chance of leaving, this place
And you might bring the heartache that I feel

So, you are cursed by a dream
You feel like a dog on a leash
But the look in your eyes
It says something else
Something else that you must do
You can’t make it pay, what to do?

All your friends have gone away
And your hopes were dashed today
Even your mind begins to fade
Cursed by a dream all the way

So, we are cursed by this dream…

TECHNOLOGY

“Cursed by a Dream” features sounds from vintage synths and drum machines (both sampled and soft-synths), along with some modern synth/drum sounds from Falcon. The classic female vocal sounds of the Mellotron make a distinctive contribution to this song. (I usually find an excuse to use the Mellotron on every album I make, even when it’s a retro 80s sounding album, and the Mellotron is unequivocally 60s!)

• Jupiter 8 – bass
• Korg Polysix – bass
• Akai AX80 – lead
• Mellotron M400 – vocal keys
• Moog Apollo – pads
• Digital Keyboards Synergy – lead
• Oberheim SEM (Arturia) – lead
• Steinberg Retrologue – lead
• Oberheim DMX – drums
• Korg MiniPops 35 – drums
• Korg DDD-1 – drums
• Kawai XD-5 – drums
• UVI Falcon – drums, lead, synths

ALBUM: FUTURE MEMORIES

TRACK 7: CURSED BY A DREAM

ALBUM PAGE