Free Music Archive
About Free Music Archive
bronwynbishop on 06/20/2013 at 01:49PM
On the front page of performance artist Bryan Lewis Saunders' website, the main image, right under his name, features Saunders with a plastic bag over his head. This sets the tone for the majority of his career.
Saunders describes his work as stand-up tragedy. He is the opposite of a stand-up comic- he stands in front of an audience and attempts to make them cry. Starting in 1995, Saunders has drawn at least one self-portrait every single day; the ones which have received the most attention are the portraits he produced while under the influence of a different drug every day. He is generally considered an outsider artist, and lives in an institution-like home for unemployed and disabled people.
In 2003, Saunders began sleeping with a tape recorder and, upon waking, recording descriptions of his dreams. 87 Dreams of a Sociopath, a book of these descriptions transcribed as poems, is the result of this experiment. Along with the book, Saunders released the audio recordings themselves. In a groggy monotone punctuated by yawns, Saunders presents us with his dreams, many of which are gruesome. "The Amputator," in which Saunders is hired by God to amputate people's limbs, is a highlight. Possibly the most disturbing track is "I Killed My Cousin," in which said act is described in meticulous detail: "I stuck a razorblade four inches deep into the side of her neck, and then just pulled down, straight down on it, and cut her throat."
Despite their sometimes shocking content, Saunders' depictions of the peculiar logic of dreams are instantly familiar. Saunders is an avant-garde, troubled oddball, but his dreams could be anyone's. This collection, while difficult to listen to for an extended period of time, is a great find for anyone fascinated by dreams.