Saturday, November 26
Last night, an increasingly grand-scale and overwrought dream sequence in which the only recognizable characters besides myself were Chris Thile and Chad Urmston, playing together in a kind of jammy afro-grass hybrid with political overtones. The backdrop - spread across a multi-day rock festival, a low tech dystopian future Kansas City, a mountain hotel complex, and Southeast Nebraska - was fairly science fictional. Lasers, ubiquitous wireless broadband, force fields, etc. My old roommate Jeremy's red Ford Probe, considerably tricked out, also made an appearance during an escape/chase sequence. Very impressive visual as we raced out from underneath a giant translucent energy dome into a raging electrical storm, me in the passenger seat trying to re-establish our connection with the global VR network through the static. (Shades of Neal Stephenson.)
At some point Thile lost an arm to laser fire, and a major subplot of the rest of the dream was his struggle to play one-armed. It was a heartbreaking thing to watch on stage. Just before waking up I realized that we could build a brain-computer interface to drive a specially rebuilt mandolin.
I suppose some kind of MIDI gimmick would have been easier, but I was imagining some mechanical means of fretting the strings. The details are regrettably vague.