I am working on a little theater play accompanying a poetic clown on piano on the stage. Most of time I improvise to emphasize his emotional moods, since there are no words at all.
When the character falls asleep I want to play something that expresses that which follows is (or may be) a dream, but being subtle and not so cliché-like as a several octaves whole tone scale ascension.
I like NReilingh's approach:
Chords don't give us feelings, we give chords feelings.
So I am not looking for a magical chord or scale to do this. I understand that it is my job to get into the character feelings and to find how to express them through my hands using dynamics, tempo... and even corporal expression. But it would be helpful to know other ways, suggestions, examples... to improve my improvisation background.