The Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies is a performance originally staged for The Scream Literary Festival on July 7, 2010 at Levack Block in Toronto. In February 2011, it was restaged for The Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, also Toronto.

The Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies (bluemouth inc./a.rawlings), an immersive electroacoustic somniloquixotic environment and performance. At The Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies, patients unwind with a night-cap, immersed in the live oneiric soundscapes of Richard Windeyer. The Centre provides poetic self-prognosis of parasomnias in a safe, groovy experiment. Audience members can register for the Questionnaire Diagnostique at The Centre, shifting between one-on-one interaction with Centre staff members Ciara Adams and a.rawlings or relaxing in the Centre’s grand Salle de Rêve.

The idea for this event was to create a lounge atmosphere where attendees would be immersed within a performance that included an interactive element. The performance occurs in two rooms. The main room proves cacophonic and intense, where a boisterous crowd enjoys conversation as Richard Windeyer improvises, composes, and live-mixes his own new music / soundscape throughout the night. Richard’s compositions include some sampling of my voice saying “Welcome to the Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies” and audience answers to a surrealist questionnaire.

In the back room, Ciara Adams and I work one-on-one with crowd members in our patient-intake interview. Each patient sits with us for ten minutes and answers a largely yes/no somniloquixotic questionnaire I devised. The questionnaire features questions from a proper Sleep/Dream Centre, questions from known surrealists, some of my own curious queries, and loving guidance from Gary BarwinFrançois Luong, and Paul Vermeersch). This intimate moment proves a counterpoint to the bright, chaotic front room. 

At the night’s end, Richard, Ciara, and I give a short collective performance, our disturbed and disturbing lullaby for those soon to depart. While Ciara and I vocally improvise sounds of breath, fricatives, song, and orgasm, Richard captures and treats our output to create an immediate blur of acoustic and electronic.


by Julie Lassonde, Nilan Perera, and a rawlings

Politicizing bodies in performance, Drift is a structured improvisation. Drift starts from the impulse of mantra, repeating a partial sentence to senselessness; text derails into discovery, dialogue, inquisition, interrogation, indictment. Nilan Perera and a.rawlings remix the syntax of a pre-determined, borrowed paragraph; their improvised dialogue is embodied and embellished by Julie Lassonde’s full-body gesture. “Drifting” challenges performers and witnesses to listen while in dialogue, to wrestle and tussle with real-time communication between individuals.