Private Dreams and Public Nightmares is a unique concept album which re-works and re-interprets original, unheard sounds from the Daphne Oram archives to create completely new pieces of music. Two of these pieces were performed live by Andrea Parker and Daz Quayle for 'Oramics: The Life and Works of Daphne Oram' at The Royal Festival Hall and for the Short Circuit Festival at The Roundhouse, where they supported the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Parker and Quayle set out to use some of the less-obvious, unnerving sounds they had found in the archives to explore a different side of Daphne Oram, a darker side, integrating them with sounds from Parker's own archives (made using analogue synthesizers like her arp2600 as well as her 808) and using Quayle¿s sampling and studio expertise to create the balance. Hundreds of hours were spent sampling these sounds and carefully treating them through various noise reduction processors. What developed was a deeply personal album, an intense piece of work. Minimal, yet in some pieces over 100 individual sounds were used.
This album is challenging, isolationist and uses a spectrum of dark sounds running throughout with the occasional beat and lots of bass that certainly weigh it down, giving it a distinctive, moody and ominous sound. There are chords as well as lots of bleeps, electronic clangs and plenty of sinister drones that force their way into your consciousness. Certainly not for the faint hearted, it's fearsome and downright scary at times, which could leave you feeling unstable with emotional tension. Definitely not 'easy listening', but be patient and you will find extraordinary pieces delivered in an unnerving way. It's haunting, or itself perhaps... haunted?