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Wednesday
Sep072011

A Cure for Sleep

Think of the craziest dream you’ve ever had – one that’s stuck with you long after you’ve awaken. Sweaty, your heart beating so hard you think it’s going to jump out of your chest. It haunts you the rest of the day, rattling you, distracting you. It is only when you finally fall asleep the next night, after tossing and turning, that you once again float off into dreamland and a new journey erases the haunting images from the night before.

For San Francisco-based musician Jascha (pronounced “ya-sha”) Hoffman, what started out as a dream, or in his words a nightmare, turned into an artistic journey – one that lead him to start a dream blog that would eventually become the basis for his band Jascha vs. Jascha and his debut album, A Cure for Sleep.

 “Last night a boy dreamed he had been placed in a game. The game was posed in the first person, and was difficult,” starts Mr. Hoffman’s first dream blog back in 2004. “The game’s features were dark and of limitless resolution. It was not a competitive game, but this was not declared. The game furnished dozens of ways to lose, which was dying. When you died you were instantly placed at the starting point.”

He soon found himself putting his bizarre adventures in dreamland into song form, working with friends until Sleep came to fruition. His next album, titled The Future, is set to come out later this year.

Mr. Hoffman has a talented team helping him turn his dreams (and nightmares) into a musical reality. Guitarist Bjorn Solli and string instrumentalists Loren Ludwig and Dina Maccabee help capture the whimsical and often bizarre world he creates.

Whether you’re daydreaming or fully awake, Hoffman’s unique style, like those dreams that haunt you long after you’ve gotten out of bed, will stay with you.

Check out his innovative video for his single “Some Hungry Guy.”

“My first contact with the pioneering comics artist Winsor McCay was via a giant book of his early work that arrived when I was sorting through piles at The New York Review of Books. I spent a good amount of time under my desk with the whole thing laid out. That was certainly the biggest book I’ve ever held, and it made a deep impression on me,” Mr. Hoffman explains on his blog about his approach to the video’s illustrations.

“When I set out to make a video for my song 'Some Hungry Guy,' on my first album A Cure for Sleep, the visual world of Little Nemo came to mind. The song is about how strange it can be to survive in a hostile world. The lavish panels of Little Nemo depict a young boy navigating a series of wonders and catastrophes in his dreams. It was a perfect fit.

“Director Benjamin Ahr Harrison really came through beyond my wildest expectations. He is not trained as an animator, but using a little digital magic, he was able to lend depth and motion to McCay’s sumptuous century-old panels, which are now in the public domain since their copyright expired. Because McCay was also a pioneer of “animated drawing”— what we now call animation — it felt right to set some his finest drawings in motion.”

 

Develop healthier sleeping habits.

For more information, check out his website.

 

Jascha Hoffman | San Francisco, CA

Thinks the other side of the pillow is not as cool as the untouched corner of the bed.

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