Guardians of Sleep Original Soundtrack is a collection of music based on material from the podcast of the same name. Composed, performed, and produced by Andrew Braun, the pieces are driven by a tender, inquisitive piano surrounded by a tapestry of electronics and samples. These tracks draw from contemporary musical forms, ripping open sounds, and bending notes to convey the affecting emotional arc of dream life as it is examined in the podcast.
Presented by The Museum of Dreams and hosted/produced by Sharon Sliwinski, the first season of The Guardians of Sleep podcast investigated how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the dream life of people living in London, England. The show takes its title from Sigmund Freud, who described dreams as the “guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.” Each of the episodes focused on a particular dreamer, exploring how dreaming serves as an integral psychological process that helps us work through the struggles we face in our waking lives. The soundtrack is derived from musical character studies that depict each dreamer and the exploration of their dream life. Each piece was created from a pallet of sounds and compositional elements which become recurring characters in their own right, working to connect the individuals through their shared experience of dreaming during the early days of the pandemic lock down.
Season 1 Volume 1, scheduled for release in the spring of 2023 via Flood Tide Records, opens with the show’s main theme “A worldwide dreaming event” before exploring the themes of different dreamers depicted in the show’s first three episodes. The first single “Remains of the day” reflects on one dreamer’s notion that dreams are made up of bits and pieces of our waking life. It harvests piano samples from throughout the series and reconstructs them into new melodies that evoke the haunted familiarity of a vivid dreamscape before floating away on pillowy synth pad. “Reverie” is a piece that recurs throughout the season in different forms, acting as a grounding force, much like Sliwinski’s voice. “Quebec Zulu” reflects on the dreams of an ER doctor and how they help her process the weight of guiding her patients through the physical and mental anguish of the initial wave of the pandemic. “Mycelium” explores another dreamer’s magnificent imagery of death and the afterlife and “On losing and being lost” depicts a worldly traveller’s constant inability to find his way through the scenarios of his dream life.
Volume 2 builds on the themes of loss and the unknown explored in the first set, but expands to examine connections between individuals as they attune to one another through dreams. “Pinny and Iris” and “Loop de loop” explore the deep bond between a mother and daughter and “Beware the long bones” evolves from a connection formed between an interviewer and subject as they process a dream about death. Finally, “Duet with the dishes” and “Things I know I don’t know” accompany the season’s closing discussions of how dreams help connect us to each other and to the world around us.