The Dreaming's sound lives up to its band name: gorgeous melodies, rich textures, lush vocals and an often ethereal soundscape. The quintet is a collaboration of some of the most talented veteran musicians on our scene: vocalist-keyboardist Ann Janish-Schieder, guitarist-bassist Ray Lorigo, keyboardist-guitarist Daniel Haskin, vocalist Leah Pinnavaia and drummer Pat O'Connell. The Dreaming performs an acoustic set, opening for the Strawbs at 8 tonight in the Tralf and then celebrates the release of its third disc, "Shadow Days," 8 p.m. Nov. 27 in O Restaurant & Lounge, 3047 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. For info: www.dreamsuite.com. Musicians Haskin and Lorigo took time to answer some questions.
How has your music evolved over the course of three discs?
Haskin: It's been a steady progression from strictly acoustic on upward. Lately we've been writing songs using richer orchestrations, "Piglet and the Black Fox" and "My Resurrection," to name two.
Why the move in a "heavier" direction, relatively speaking, for the band?
Haskin: I think we opened up our music to more instrumentation than the previous two CDs. Ray has a lot to do with that edgier feel. He's a very percussive guitarist. On the other hand, I tend to work with sound textures and melody, so together it makes a nice fit. Also, Pat had more input this time around and it shows in some of the more exotic drum work.
Lorigo: I think we've evolved into better musicians technically and we aren't "fumbling in the dark," so to speak, with a sound we want. We're clearer on how we want to sound. Quite frankly there was no intention about a "heavier" sound. We never think we're going to be the next mainstream; which gives us great writing freedom.
What has the addition of Leah Pinnavaia brought to the band?
Haskin: The combination of Ann and Leah on vocals is a real blessing for us. Having two dynamic singers can really open the floodgates in the way harmonies are invented. There's a certain something in their voices that draws you in . . . especially live. Leah also plays clarinet and keyboards which has added a new dimension to our performances.
How did you hook up with the U.K. label, Witchwood Records?
Haskin: Witchwood is a label that was initially based around the legendary folk-rock band Strawbs. I've always admired that band and found it a dream come true to open for them a few times recently. They got to know us, and our work, and the label gave us a chance.
Have you noticed a difference in perspective with a U.K. label?
Haskin: Yes . . . especially with a small, selective label like Witchwood. Many of the artists are part of the era of classic '70s British folk-rock like the Strawbs, and Hudson and Ford. It's great to be part of something that embraces the traditional and the new, not just focusing on dollar signs.
Talk about the band's following on Internet radio.
Haskin: Internet radio is like a return to the early days where an unknown still had a chance to be heard. Lately we have cuts in rotation on Progressive Soundscapes Radio (www.progressivesoundscapes.com).
Lorigo: Internet radio is a great way for bands like us to get airplay and a following. We all know that radio stations won't touch a band unless they have a big label behind them.
What's next for the Dreaming?
Haskin: We're planning to jump right back into the creative process and start laying down tracks for the fourth disc, starting in December.