Vancouver songwriter Melissa Bandura launched Dark Dreams: Day this summer at the 2012 Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
The first of three symphonically arranged albums, Dark Dreams: Day is the light-hearted sister of the trio. Melissa co-produced the thickly arranged albums alongside Corwin Fox of Cumberland with help from 15 classically-trained musicians and CBC Folk favourites Reid Jamieson and Miss Emily Brown.
“My background in classical violin caught up to me on these tunes,”
Bandura says. “I wanted a lush, ephemeral feel and found I could do this by weaving orchestral instruments around my melodies. I love how bassoon, French horn and bowed bass can add a distinct flavour to a piece of music. ”
Though unique and cohesive in its overall orchestral production, the album meanders between Sufjan Stevens-inspired alternative (e.g. Inside and Sixteen Years), Be Good Tanyas-inspired folk (e.g. Ideas and Parting Song), and jazz (e.g. Winter Ragtime and Parting Song).
Dark Dreams: Day is followed by Dark Dreams: Night, which is a contemplative, wintertime soundscape. The storybook album Dark Dreams: Sleep rounds out the trio in the spring.
All three albums feature Melissa on vocals, violin, viola, guitar, flute and percussion. Dark Dreams: Sleep accompanies a story written by Melissa and illustrated by Vancouver-based surreal children’s illustrator Kristian Adam (www.kristianadam.com/illustration/publications.html).
— Melissa Bandura