At the time of the original release of the albums comprising the Universal Migrator (2000), Arjen had enough songs for a double CD. But at the time he was under the impression that his fan base was divided into two different camps — prog and metal — and that there was little genre crossover between the two. So he decided to release two separate CDs, one with the proggy tracks (Dream Sequencer) and another with the heavier, “metal” tracks (Flight of the Migrator). His idea was that fans could then choose the CD that best fit their musical preferences.
The two albums were released simultaneously, and Arjen’s surprise both CDs received favorable reactions, with most fans purchasing both! Later in 2004, when Arjen moved from Transmission to InsideOut Music, The Dream Sequencer was re-released together with Flight of the Migrator as a 2-CD special edition called The Universal Migrator: Parts I & II. As only 4 years had passed since the original release of the separate albums, Arjen did not add any bonus features because he felt that this would be unfair to the fans who had already purchased the albums.
The Dream Sequencer
On Universal Migrator part I: The Dream Sequencer Arjen picks up the story of The Final Experiment and the year 2084. Over a hundred years have passed since the last world war destroyed all life on earth. This war was exactly what the main character Ayreon had already predicted in the 6th century (see the first Ayreon CD The Final Experiment).
As this final war was taking place, a number of Mars colonists witnessed the destruction on Earth from afar. For several years they managed to keep themselves alive with the supplies they had brought with them from Earth. But eventually the supplies ran out and the colonists were doomed to die. The main character in the story is the last surviving human being, a child of the first Mars colonists. He has never been on Earth.
During the initial period of Mars colonization, finding entertainment was somewhat of a problem. So clever technicians designed the Dream Sequencer, a machine that allowed the Colonists to travel back to their own youth by means of hypnoses, but also to their lives before; their pre-incarnations so to speak.
It is in this machine that the last Colonist relives his youth on Mars, and scenes from previous lives: his death as a woman on Earth during the war of 2084, the first moon landing of 1969, and his life as the standard bearer in the famous 17th century painting of Rembrandt: The Nightwatch. He stood on the shores of England as Queen Elisabeth I, watching the English fleet sail out to stop the Spanish Armada, and as a Mayan girl he witnessed sacred ceremonies in Tikal. As the story unfolds, we discover that the Colonist once was the minstrel Ayreon and that, in another even earlier incarnation, he was present during the construction of Stonehenge. His soul’s first incarnation was the first human being on Earth.
2004 Re-released by InsideOut Music as “The Universal Migrator parts 1 and 2”
2004 Hellion (Brazil), Nems (Argentina)
Jef Bertels (cover)
Jacques Marcoux (booklet)
Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
- The Dream Sequencer
- My House on Mars
- One Small Step
- The Shooting Company of Captain Frans B. Cocq
- Dragon on the Sea
- Temple of the Cat
- Carried by the Wind
- And the Druids Turned to Stone
- The First Man on Earth
- The Dream Sequencer (Reprise)