Dreams of the Fallen

Solo piano, choir, and orchestra


Combining the musical forces of solo piano, chorus, and orchestra with powerful texts written by Iraq War veteran and award-winning poet Brian Turner, Dreams of the Fallen explores a soldier’s emotional response to the experience of war.

Listen to Excerpts




November 11, 2013 Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans.
James Paul, conductor.
National World War II Museum, New Orleans, LA.

Instrumentation Timpani +2 Piano Harp Strings

Participating Ensembles

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus (Dayton, OH)
Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Rockford, IL)
Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey (Moorestown, NJ)
Virginia Arts Festival (Norfolk, VA)


Symphony Magazine feature
NY Times article
Huffington Post article
Wall Street Journal article
Facebook Group

Education and Outreach

Biegel, Runestad, and Turner are interested in participating in pre-concert talks and other educational opportunities involved with the creation of the work and its cultural relevance. Ensembles are encouraged to partner with local museums, schools, and military organizations to promote the work and its inspiration: the men and women of our armed services both past and present.

The Artists

Jeffrey Biegel, pianist
Jake Runestad, composer
Brian Turner, poet


Poetry by Brian Turner

Wading Out (excerpt)

And I keep telling myself that if I walk far enough
or long enough someday I’ll come out the other side.

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

Phantom Noise (excerpt)

There is this ringing hum this
bullet-borne language ringing
shell-fall and static this late-night ringing
hiss and steam this wing-beat
of rotors and tanks broken
bodies ringing in steel humming these
voices of dust these years ringing
ringing these children their gravestones
their limbs gone missing
this eardrum this rifled symphonic this
ringing of midnight in gunpowder and oil this
threading of bullets in muscle and bone this ringing
hum this ringing hum this


It should make you shake and sweat,
nightmare you, strand you in a desert
of irrevocable desolation, the consequences
seared into the vein, no matter what adrenaline
feeds the muscle its courage, no matter
what god shines down on you, no matter
what crackling pain and anger
you carry in your fists, my friend,
it should break your heart to kill.

Wading Out (excerpt)

And I keep telling myself that if I walk far enough
or long enough someday I’ll come out the other side.

All poems copyright © 2005, 2010 by Brian Turner and Alice James Books. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

Major Underwriting Donors

Louis Leibowitz Charitable Foundation (Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Leibowitz)
Dr. Robert M. Schiff
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Wiegand
Brenda McGrath
Philip Bjorlo

World Premiere at the National WWII Museum

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra & Symphony Chorus of New Orleans

Performers at the World Premiere

Jeffrey Biegel, James Paul, John Goodman, & Jake Runestad

Symphony Magazine feature

Winter 2014 Issue

Dreams of the Fallen

Score excerpt