top of page

The Oneiroi - The Thieves of Lost Dreams

Jeremy Bell

In Greek Mythology, the Oneiroi (pronounced Oh-Neer-Ree) were the sons of Nyx (Night) that traveled through dreams as different types of images.   According to Hesiod, Morpheus, the god of dreams (appeared as human images), Icelos or Phobetor, the god of nightmares (appeared as animals and monsters), and Phantasos, the god of fantastical dreams (appeared as earth, rock, water, wood, and other types of images from nature), were the brothers of Hypnos (Sleep), Thanatos (Death), and Geras (Old Age).


Dreams have been studied and examined since when they were looked at as possible prophecies of future events to more recent studies where they have been deemed as latent desires in the subconscious or simply as random neural firings of recent events that string memories into a fantastical narrative. Studies have shown that dreams primarily occur during REM sleep and that everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers their dreams.  Scientists have shown that the reason for this is that during REM sleep, the chemical in the brain necessary for producing memories shuts off during this part of the sleep cycle.  It’s often sudden moments during the night or morning when your body is forced to wake


up to use the restroom, get a drink of water, or that ever so annoying alarm that the chemical suddenly kicks in and allows you remember your dream.

The Oneiroi: The Thieves of Lost Dreams depicts the three brothers as thieves, stealing the dreams that are not remembered.  From it’s dark fanfare opening to the end, The Oneiroi is a bombastic and exciting work that will challenge any band.


The Oneiroi: The Thieves of Lost Dreams was selected as one of the finalists in the Cypress Symphonic Band's 2017 Composition Competition, and was selected as the winner of the 2018 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Competition Contest to be performed in New York City Parks during their 2019 season.

bottom of page