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Astounding and hilarious recordings of the world's greatest sleeptalker.
Astounding and hilarious recordings of the world's greatest sleeptalker.
56 backers pledged CA$ 3,200 to help bring this project to life.

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DREAMING LIKE MAD with DION McGREGOR: Outrageous Recordings of the World's Most Renowned Sleeptalker

Dion McGregor by Kerry Zentner
Dion McGregor by Kerry Zentner

“There is a time for many words and there is also a time for sleep" —Homer

To Dion McGregor, the world’s greatest sleeptalker, the time for sleep and the time for many words were one and the same. Several times a week, McGregor would hold forth with the most outlandish and fascinating somnolent monologues imaginable. Fortunately for us, his roommate Michael Barr recorded hundreds of these astounding somniloquies on reel-to-reel tape. They first saw the light of day in 1964 when Decca released an LP, with cover art by Edward Gorey, called The Dream World of Dion McGregor (He Talks in His Sleep).

Dream World cover by Edward Gorey (1964)
Dream World cover by Edward Gorey (1964)

This was followed, a mere thirty-five years later, by Dion McGregor Dreams Again—a sequel compiled by Phil Milstein and released on CD by Tzadik.

Dreams Again cover by Peter Blegvad (1999)
Dreams Again cover by Peter Blegvad (1999)

In 2004, my Torpor Vigil label came out with another compilation in the sequence entitled The Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor—More Outrageous Recordings of the World’s Most Renowned Sleeptalker.

Further Somniloquies cover by Richard A. Kirk (2004)
Further Somniloquies cover by Richard A. Kirk (2004)

Since that time, several long-lost tapes have found their way back into the archive. Selections from these rediscovered treasures, along with other unreleased gems, will comprise a new “dream world” album slated for release in early 2014—the fiftieth anniversary of the first Dion McGregor album! Dreaming Like Mad With Dion McGregor—Yet More Outrageous Recordings of the World’s Most Renowned Sleeptalker will feature an hour of hilarious, bizarre and haunting McGregor dreams. The album, vibrantly illustrated by Kerry Zentner, will be available in CD and other digital formats.

Your involvement in realizing this project is crucial and will be rewarded in various ways, from downloads and CDs to rare recordings access, original artwork and prints, custom shirts, and more. Here’s your chance to get in on the mad dreaming of a unique cult icon and help us bring more of “the damnedest sounds you’ll ever hear”* to the ears of the world. As Dion said in one of his dreams: “The public’ll love it! The public’ll love it!”

Dreaming Like Mad cover by Kerry Zentner (2014)
Dreaming Like Mad cover by Kerry Zentner (2014)

Here are a couple of dreams from the Further Somniloquies album, to give you an idea of what's in store with this new project: https://soundcloud.com/torporvigil/sets/sleeptalker-dion-mcgregor-two

There are also Dion McGregor book, film, and theatre projects in the works for 2014, so please help to make this a great 50th anniversary by supporting Dreaming Like Mad with Dion McGregor!

All the best in dream and waking,
Steve Venright
Torpor Vigil Records

PS: "Dion"—short for Dionysus—rhymes with "lyin'" (which, as many witnesses to his sleeptalking have confirmed, he wasn't!)

PPS: As a little reward for dropping by, here's your special access to a dream-related song from Samuel Andreyev's acclaimed recent album The Tubular West: https://soundcloud.com/torporvigil/half-dream/s-PknJc

* Phil Milstein, archivist of extraordinary audio artifacts, and McGregor expert whose assistance has been invaluable on this project.

Risks and challenges

Things are looking good for a late May release. This album has been in the works for years, but it's all coming together nicely. Nevertheless, a grace period of one month would be most appreciated, as there are always a few unexpected factors that crop up during the final stages of a release. As we launch this campaign, yet another small stack of previously lost dream recordings has been returned to the archive. It's possible that a new treasure or two will be discovered among these mysterious old reels—in which case an extra week or so to shuffle the Dreaming Like Mad tracklist and to process the new arrivals will be necessary. Still, I'm optimistic about May!

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    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.91

    Thanks for your contribution of anything from a buck to—as Dion would say—"great greasy handfuls of gold!"

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    Downloads of "The Swimming Pool" and "The Mustard Battle" – two classics from the original 1964 Dream World album, remastered from the original tapes.

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    Advance download of the entire Dreaming Like Mad album (including cover art files and liner notes)

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    Dreaming Like Mad CD in custom gatefold sleeve with booklet

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    Dreaming Like Mad CD plus a copy of the Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor CD (2004)

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    Dreaming Like Mad t-shirt or tank top adorned with a full-colour reproduction of Kerry Zentner's cover illustration (printed direct-to-garment in eco-friendly permanent inks). Please specify shirt style (tee or tank) and size: SM / M / L / XL. All shirts are white to ensure vibrancy of artwork. (Note: Additional shipping fee does not apply to Canada.)

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $36

    Dreaming Like Madder EP download: an exclusive offering of three otherwise unreleased dream recordings from the McGregor archive

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $55

    Dreaming Like Mad t-shirt or tank top and both the Dreaming Like Mad and Further Somniloquies CD. Please specify shirt style (tee or tank) and size: SM / M / L / XL. All shirts are white to ensure vibrancy of artwork.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $91

    Acknowledgement as a supporter of the album in the CD liner notes and digital release data. (While each donation will be greatly appreciated, regardless of amount, the more you donate the more prominent will be the placement of your name in the liner notes.)

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    Pledge CA$ 230 or more About $209

    High quality giclée print of Kerry Zentner's Dreaming Like Mad album cover art, numbered and signed by the artist on 18X24"acid-free archival paper.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,350 or more About $1,229

    Original cover art illustration by Kerry Zentner. Ink and watercolour on archival paper (image size 13X14.5"). Titling will differ slightly from print version as it is being hand-lettered onto the original (photo to be posted upon completion)—otherwise it's the same as what appears on the album cover. http://www.kerryzentner.com

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Funding period

- (38 days)