I often get musical ideas from dreams, especially during short naps of about 30 minutes.
In dreams, I hear music from somewhere and think, “That’s nice. I want to make music like that.” Then, I suddenly realize it’s a dream and wake up quickly.
The parts I remember upon waking are at most 1-2 bars, so they are very short. For example, the 2011 carol “Snow Cream” was also written from a short motif of about four bars obtained from a nap.
After recording the motif, I then work on developing it.
This process involves modifying the melody. The melody obtained from the dream itself is perfect and needs no modification. However, the melodies I write afterward often don’t satisfy me, leading to regrets like “I should have listened more in the dream.”
But, of course, creating a cohesive piece of music with repeated modifications of the melody is something that can only be done in reality, not in dreams.
Exceptionally, I remembered the entire chorus of Elika – Magical Night when I woke up from a dream.
Between the initial sketch version and the final version, the melody hardly changed. It was a great achievement, but I have many regrets about the arrangement and composition of this song, so I want to rearrange it next time.