Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra | Dream and Variations

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Dream and Variations

by Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra

Both sweeping and intimate, Dream and Variations is a musical mosaic by composer Don Harper, performed by a 70-piece orchestra and choir, with Dan Higgins, Trevor Rabin, Russell Ferrante and Lisbeth Scott.
Genre: Jazz: Orchestral Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dream and Variations
Dan Higgins/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
8:10 $0.99
2. Where Do We Go from Here?
Trevor Rabin/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
4:21 $0.99
3. End of Days (Lament and Prayer for New Orleans)
Lisbeth Scott/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
6:15 $0.99
4. Morning in Montana; Heartland Prelude #1
Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
2:01 $0.99
5. Shades of Grace; Heartland Prelude #2
Sid Page/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
4:26 $0.99
6. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded; Heartland Prelude #3
Karen Harper/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
4:02 $0.99
7. Blackwater Run; Heartland Prelude #4
Grant Geissman/Dean Parks/Sid Page/Fred Seldon/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
2:55 $0.99
8. Her Touch
Russell Ferrante/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
3:47 $0.99
9. When You Close Your Eyes
Tim Davis/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
4:34 $0.99
10. Dream and Variations (Full Version)
Dan Higgins/Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra
9:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
At once sweeping and intimate, Dream and Variations is an eclectic collection of musical vignettes performed by Don Harper's Oceana Orchestra, a hand-picked 70-piece ensemble and 32-voice choir. It was recorded at Warner Bros. Studios' Eastwood Stage, and is a unique blending of instruments, vocalists and musical styles, all within a symphonic framework.

Moved by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he and lyricist Tom Child were moved to write the haunting and soulful "End of Days" (sung by Lisbeth Scott), as a lament and prayer to the city of New Orleans. This set off a flurry of writing and from that initial inspiration arose what would become Dream and Variations, nine pieces that complete an American musical mosaic.

Session great Dan Higgins performs the impressionistic soprano saxophone on the title track. Trevor Rabin (film composer and former member of Yes) wields a guitar that soars over the top of "Where Do We Go From Here?". Jazz pianist Russell Ferante of The Yellowjackets is featured throughout, along with notable string players Dave Stone (upright bass), Sid Page (violin), and Steve Erdody (cello).

While the seed of Dream and Variations was planted in tragedy, the work itself is uplifting, confident and hopeful, owing in large part to its hybrid of jazz, Americana, rock, spirituals, blues, and even a touch of ethnic flute and bluegrass performed by a world-class ensemble. "A symphony orchestra with an identity crisis", Harper admits, "Just like America".

"Thanks for caring so much about music. You make my heart sing! This is a CD that should inspire younger generations to seek out the glories of melody and harmony" - Roger Kellaway

Includes other featured performances by:

Karen Harper-Vocals-"O Sacred Head, Now Wounded"
Tim Davis - Vocals - "When You Close Your Eyes"
Grant Geissman-Guitars
Dean Parks-Guitars
Fred Selden-Ethnic Woodwinds



to write a review


Loved it !
Wow ! What a rich mixture of Americana music tempered with just the right amount of a classical vibe to it. My favorite track is the title track Dream & Variations.

Kaya Savas

Don Harper Provides A Magnificent Solo Effort, An Amazing Talent
Hans Zimmer is my favorite composer and through his work is how I was introduced to Don Harper. I was thrilled to hear that Harper was releasing a solo album, and boy is it great. My favorite tracks are End Of Days and Blackwater Run. I was thrilled to see he invited some of his fellow collaborators like Trevor Rabin and Lisbeth Scott to help out. The orchestrations are beautiful, thematic and even epic at times. This is definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of Trevor Rabin, Hans Zimmer or Mark Mancina. I think Harper should move to higher profile films, I would really like to see what he can do with an epic picture or a fantasy piece based on this album.

Sanda Allyson

Once in awhile you come across an artist that touches you... deeply. Yo-Yo Ma does that to me. And, Don Harper is such an artist. Yes, he is a musician's musician and has a list of credits (and some not listed, I'm sure) that would befit an obnoxious ego. But, Don Harper is a man of surprising humility and... heart. And, that is what it takes to really touch the spaces of the soul with music. Dream and Variations is what music can be when all of these things come together: musicianship, talent, gifting, a willingness to stare fear in the face to really observe and feel life and then write about it... and heart. Cheers to a great freshman release. I say that because I am certain there will be more musical paintings Don will share with us. And, I can't wait to see, hear, and feel them.


In a multitude of musical styles a singular voice emerges. The title track 'Dreams & Variations" belongs confidently alongside of other great orchestral fusion works like those by Patrick Williams and Claus Ogerman. In Harper's compositions the soloist's have a high bar to reach and they all do. This CD demonstrates what music can be when done for it's own sake.


I agree with the previous reviewers, this album is relaxing, inspiring, soothing and just simply wonderful. Every song brings a sense of love and peace to one's heart. Pure beauty.

justin norman

Rabin plays guitar
I bought this cd just to hear Trevor Rabin on Where do we go from here?. Being a massive Rabin fan i was so pleased to hear him play guitar at long last. Although i have all Rabin movie score/soundtrack cd's, it was a pleasure in just remembering how truly awesome he is on the guitar, his main instrument.

Donald Smith

Makes driving in the car a pleasure
Dreams and Variations makes a long drive in the car very pleasant. I find that the instrumental and vocal mix of jazz, hymn, and contemporary americana keeps the CD interesting enough that I listen repeatedly without becoming bored. This is also true when I listen to a group called IONA. Their CD "Open Sky" is similar to Dreams and Variations in that both share a depth of spirituality expressed through sweet melodies, rich orchestration, and high quality recording.

Dick WElls

this album will be treasured by anyone who loves great musi
From the introspective and mystical “Dream in Variations” featuring a brilliant solo by the amazing Dan Higgins to the expansive “Morning in Montana”; this album will be treasured by anyone who loves great music. Don Harper paints with a wide brush, covering the canvass with bold and exciting orchestrations as well as heartfelt, intimate moments that delight the senses and touch the soul. Congratulations to composer, musicians and engineer alike for a completely wonderful recording. This is a must own.
Dick Wells, L.A., CA

sheree kelso

Truly a wonderful collection. My son plays horn on this cd so of course I'm proud but the fact remains that the compositions are breathtaking.Track 5 needs to be the theme/soundtrack for the next blockbuster Western! I love it

Ali B Olmo

I received such a gift when I was given a copy of Don Harper's "Dreams & Variation". I was hooked from the opening line and taken on a marvelous and moving musical journey. This is now at the top of my list of favorite CDs and I purchased several copies so that I could pass on the gift that was given to me and the gift that is Don Harper's music. Bravo!! Don
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