Dreamer Boy Dan is the story of a boy that travels through a paranormal world where he encounters several different characters along his journey. Each illustration in the book is accompanied by a poem that tells the story behind the artwork, and a soundtrack, produced by Brock Scott, sets the atmosphere for the telling of the story.
“The whole idea originally was to just have an experience that was visual, audible and included poems that go along with everything so it all tells the same story,” said Brock Scott about the feel of Dreamer Boy Dan. “But you don’t have to listen to the songs at the same time as you read—you can just read or listen to the songs separately and still understand the story.”
The concept for Dreamer Boy Dan is already innovative, but the way in which the music and artwork relate makes it even more interesting. Artists are usually asked to illustrate based on the work of their client, but in the case of Dreamer Boy Dan, the artwork created by Nic Rad was done first, and the setting and sense of each image guided Scott’s music.
The mood of Dreamer Boy Dan is not one that is unfamiliar to the public—a bleak, whimsical, mysterious environment with a child-like figure at the center, not unlike Alice in Wonderland, James and the Giant Peach, The Nightmare Before Christmas or other Tim Burton works. However, while these films have similar soundtracks to set the mood for the audience, Dreamer Boy Dan goes in a direction of its own with its musical score—there’s a unique song for each individual scenario.
When asked who the main demographic for this collaboration was, Scot noted that the depth and darkness that surrounds the project runs the risk of possibly being too much for young children to handle. But aside from that faction of people, the voyage of Dreamer Boy Dan is relevant and charming enough for anyone else to take pleasure in.
What really makes Dreamer Boy Dan a pleasure to experience is its attempt to bridge the gap between vinyl images and music that has been severed since mp3s became commonplace.
“I was really interested in old vinyl days when you actually had something that you could hang up and be proud of an artist,” Scott said, elaborating on the seemingly forgotten world of art and song combined. “Like if you get a CD now, you just put it in your laptop and on your mp3 player and the CD case just ends up under your car seat.”
It is truly a shame that the vinyl brandished with creative, thoughtful artwork cherished by its fans is a thing of the past for most, but with Dreamer Boy Dan, anyone can experience what it’s like to relive those days when music and images could be enjoyed as a single fluid piece of art—whether you were there for its heyday or not.