David Minasian is a film producer, screenwriter, director, and a musician, singer and songwriter. He has worked for motion picture production companies in the Los Angeles area. He has notably worked on some sixty documentaries and also on music videos and film concerts for familiar acts such as Three Dog Night, Camel and Justin Hayward. He has also released, somewhat intermittently, prog rock albums in his own right. Random Dreams is a compilation album, currently available as digital or vinyl releases, that draws on the more recent of these, notably 2010’s Random Acts Of Beauty and last year’s The Sound Of Dreams. In spite of the comparative newness of the original releases all the tracks have been remastered.
David draws his inspiration from the more melodic side of classic progressive rock. Barclay James Harvest rather than King Crimson, Renaissance rather than Yes. Not to say that there is not some traces of the latter particularly, but any influence is more in the background and less prime than the others. The Moody Blues and Camel are also very high on the list of influencers.
The music itself is a very warm feeling symphonic progressive rock with long instrumental passages and dexterous interplay between the musicians. Stylish and often graceful, the songs have great capacity to create images in the mind. The production is excellent with great clarity and definition achieved. There are no dissonant passages, the rhythms are not encumbered by intricacy. It is a canorous, mellow but essentially colourful sound.
David and his son, Justin, are the principal musicians on the release but there are a number of invited guests making impactful contributions. Andy Latimer from Camel sings and plays guitar on the opening track Masquerade, Justin Hayward contributes vocals, guitar and keyboards to The Wind Of Heaven, Annie Haslam of Renaissance, Steve Hackett formerly of Genesis, and Billy Sherwood from Yes bring their respective talents to The Sound Of Dreams, Julie Ragins, who has performed with Moody Blues adds vocals to Room With Dark Corners, whilst Pentangle’s Geof O’Keefe plays drums on the last three tracks. They all perform with their idiosyncratic styles to an excellent standard.
This actually highlights what could be perceived as a potential weakness of the album. It is very retrospective, but could be viewed as taking it one step farther than that. To a large extent the tracks that the guests play on pretty much sound like their home bands. Masquerade could be heard as a Camel tune, The Sound Of Dreams a Renaissance one with Steve Hackett contributing a guitar solo. This is not to say that there is pastiche at play here, as the songs are still very strong in themselves and they have a lot to say both musically and lyrically.
This is a strong release though, and an appealing reflection on what are some of David’s most loved songs. It is excellently written, played, and produced with significant contributions from all those participating. The music has a friendly approachable feel to it. An often beautiful and satisfying listen.
1. Masquerade (12:29)
2. Storming the Castle (5:22)
3. Summer’s End (7:55)
4. The Wind of Heaven (8:29)
5. The Sound of Dreams (10:40)
6. Room with Dark Corners (5:42)
7. Twin Flames at Twilight (13:42) – bonus track on digital release
David Minasian / vocals, keyboards, 12-string acoustic guitar, percussion
Justin Minasian / guitars, bass, keyboards (2,3,5-7)
Andrew Latimer – guitars, vocals (1)
Justin Hayward – vocals, guitars, keyboards (4)
Steve Hackett – guitars (5)
Annie Haslam – vocals (5)
Billy Sherwood – bass (5)
Geof O’Keefe – drums, guitars (5-7)
Julie Ragins – vocals (6)
Release date: 26th November, 2021
Label: Golden Robot Records
Format: vinyl, digital