This page features interviews with and/OAR founder
Dale Lloyd plus a couple short articles.
Tanner Menard Blog (February 2009)
TM: You have answered this in other interviews, but for the sake of clarity,
could you tell me a little about your musical background and how your work
as a publisher and artist evolved the way that it did?
DL: I had an early interest in classical music and fine arts as a child, so this
probably set the foundation for the pursuit of sound art, graphic design and
curatorial publishing later on. I had eventually developed an interest in
production and recording labels which lead to starting a label called Manna
in 1990 with the manager of a band I was involved with at the time. After that
came a label called æ, which was started in 1994 with another friend. In
2000 I started a short-lived label called Overheard And Rendered of which
and/OAR was the sub-label. My current sound work is a natural progression
from early bedroom / basement tapes of electronic / ambient / experimental
music that I created while playing in various rock-oriented bands. It’s funny
how the sub-activity to rock music has turned into the primary activity, with
rock music currently not in the picture.
TM: Can you tell me about some of the music you are really excited about
releasing in the next year? What draws you to it?
DL: Of course I’m excited about all of it, but the new either/OAR division is
probably where the most excitement is right now. So far, four stellar releases
from Jim Denley & Kim Myhr, Dropp Ensemble, Olivia Block & Kyle
Bruckmann and Tomoko Sauvage. With the main division of a/O, there is the
upcoming double CD various artist project for Michelangelo Antonioni; a
double CD release by Richard Garet called “Four”; a triple CD release by
Luigi Turra that will feature a better mastered version of “Enso” a longer
version of “Ancient.Silence” and an unreleased third part of this trilogy called
“Ki” ; and a field recording release by Ernst Karel entitled “Heard
Laboratories.” For the mOAR division there are great upcoming CDs from
Billy Gomberg, Marihiko Hara and a fantastic departure release from Art
Bleek who is usually well known in house / techno / dance circles. 2009
promises to be solid for the label, so I hope everyone will give everything a
chance with open ears and an open mind.
TM: What are your thoughts on the music industry as it is today?
DL: My thoughts are on my personal goals, not so much on what the music
industry is doing. I try to stay informed as to what is going on, but don’t buy
the doom and gloom that people get addicted to. It may sound corny, but
people need to be the change they want to see in the world. Everything else
will fall into place. Really.
TM: How do you think that the ambient/experimental genre can survive in the
current economic crunch, and do you have any advice for young musicians
coming up within this genre about thriving as an ambient artist in today’s
DL: It’s your attitude and outlook on life that makes the difference. Even
people who work for major labels are affected by this. Micro / macro - it all
works the same way. “As above, so below.”
TM: Can you say a word or two about how your spirituality and your work as a
label owner and artist coincide if they do at all?
DL: Like with everything else, they do coincide. I don’t subscribe to a
particular religion, but I do believe in a universal life force and in universal
principles which affect every aspect of our lives according to the actions and
decisions we make.
TM: and/OAR and its sister labels have released a host of really amazing
artists. Can you say a word or two about how you attracted these artists to
your label initially?
DL: First, either/OAR and mOAR are not completely different labels from
and/OAR as the term “sister labels” would indicate. and/OAR is divided into
three sections. For example: even though the government has different
divisions within itself, they are all still considered part of the government. In
other words, there are three divisions within and/OAR, not two divisions in
addition to and/OAR. The reason why I bother clarifying this point is to avoid
proprietary complaints from other labels (or companies) with similar
sounding names. You will notice that the name “and/OAR” appears on all the
releases, regardless of the division. This is why.
As for the actual question, you would have to ask the artists why they sent me
their demos, although I would imagine that they sent them to other places at
the same time. Perhaps it’s because I said “yes” before the other labels did?
TM: Many artists are gripped by personal fear. In our conversations you have
said a lot about overcoming fear. Would you share with the readers some
thoughts about staying focused and believing in yourself enough to create?
DL: OK, but at the risk of sounding like a self-help “guru…” The most basic
and important thing is to stay focused on the desired outcome of any pursuit.
Forget about undesired outcomes. That which we focus our attention and
energy on the most, will eventually happen. Pay attention to your thought
patterns. Remove negative or self-defeatist thoughts and replace them with
affirmations of accomplishing your goals. For example: instead of saying “I’ll
never get anywhere,” say something like “I am creating great work that many
people want to hear.” It’s also important to fuel these thoughts with positive
emotions that back up your words. You have to really feel it in order for it to
happen. An example of NOT feeling what you are saying is when someone
asks you how you are doing and you automatically say “fine” when inside you
feel bored, sad or want to rip somebody a new one. Know that you will
accomplish your goal, but also stay open to opportunities that come your
way, no matter how unrelated they may seem. Of course if a situation
strongly feels wrong, then don’t do it, but our lives correspond to what we “put
out there,” so keep that in mind.
TM: Would you write a short haiku that sums up Dale Lloyd?
DL: OK, for what it’s worth…
There, an open book.
Full pages await the sky.
TM: Thank you Dale, for your beautiful haiku and your inspiring words. All the
best to you and your labels in 2009 and beyond. Your presence here on this
blog is much appreciated. Please help support Dale and and/OAR by
checking out his impressive collection of music available for purchase.
Jazzosphere - issue 35 (August 2008)
JazzoSphere: Your label could be considered as a means to introduce new
artists. For instance, I Recently discovered Yui Onodera’s music. Could you
tell us about his music and about “Suisei”?
DL: I first heard Yui's work in 2006 through his own label called Critical Path.
It was a CDR release entitled "Entropy". I obtained it through the Drone
Records web shop. Funny enough, Yui contacted me a couple months later,
saying that he had a work "that wanted me to hear it"... Well, I thought if the
work wanted me to hear it, then I should probably pay attention to it, right? So,
I had Yui send me the demo of what later would become "Suisei". Originally, I
had offered to make it a double CD release, with the second disc being a CD
re-issue of "Entropy", but I had just released two very expensive releases
before that, so I had to keep the next few releases simple and more
affordable in order to keep the release schedule moving at a decent pace
than the first half of 2007, which was very slow due to time consuming delays
with the release pertaining to Yasujiro Ozu. Yui's music could often be simply
described as "atmospheric ambient", but what distinguishes his work from
many other artists are the subtle nuances that cannot be readily conveyed
with words. Yui also doesn't take the same approach with every release. With
"Suisei", one has to experience it alone and/or in a quiet environment,
otherwise the music could simply go in one ear and out the other. Unlike
some of Yui's other releases, "Suisei" does not feature loops or repetitive
elements in the work. Instead it moves fluidly from one section to the next
toward a culminating "event" that leaves an impression on the listener's
subconscious that, again, is hard to explain with words.
JazzoSphere: You participate in collaborative projects around specific
theme (Autumn Soundscapes, Airport Symphony…). Is confronting your
views to other artists' a source of inspiration? What's your personal, specific
approach dealing with these projects?
DL: The concept obviously has to appeal to me before I will participate in a
various artist project initiated by another label, and I only initiate projects on
and/OAR that have particular conceptual intentions that require new pieces to
be created specifically for them. In other words, I don't produce standard
label showcase compilations, and as much as many people tend to
habitually view them as such, each release is a project, and each project
should be judged as a whole work instead of as a collection of separate
unrelated works. Unlike many various artist label compilations which are
primarily created for promotional purposes, the intention for each and/OAR
project is to artistically draw attention to the conceptual subject matter at
hand and to inspire people to investigate it further.As an artist, I tend to be a
chameleon and approach each project differently. If all the tracks were ever
compiled together on one disc, I think it would still sound like a various artist
collection! For me, relating to, addressing and accurately conveying each
subject through sound work is far more important than maintaining some
sort of consistent artist identity. Ironically, with my own projects, I usually
invite artists based on their previous work and how well it seems to connect
with each subject. More often than not, my intuition is correct and the artists
do have a meaningful connection to the subject matter in uncanny ways.
JazzoSphere: You don’t publish your own works very often on and/OAR.
Could you explain why?
DL: Yes, for several reasons. The main one is that I'm always too busy with
other artists' releases.Fortunately, I have enough invitations from other labels
to keep me busy. And even if that were not the case, I would still not release
so many CDs of my own work because I'm just as fussy and critical about
considering my own work for a/O as I am with the demos from other people
that I receive. Even more so today than I was six or seven years ago.
JazzoSphere: Heliotrope is your very next project. Could you present it?
DL: Well, I'm really not sure if it will be my next release or not because I also
have a vinyl record planned with Elevator Bath entitled "Akasha_For Record".
After being delayed for more than a year with Cherry Music, "Heliotrope"
might end up becoming a joint release with a/O. If this doesn't happen, then I
might try to offer it to another label or just release it on a/O without another
label because I actually feel very strongly about this one and don't want to
see it languish on the shelf indefinitely.
JazzoSphere: What are your upcoming projects for 2008 (CDs, shows …)?
DL: The main ongoing project is always and/OAR. And since there are now
two new divisions of the label, I need to make sure a wider demographic of
people know about them because they will cover music outside the
spectrum of the main division of a/O. "either/OAR" will mostly focus on
acoustic instrument / object-based improvisation and composition, while
"mOAR" will focus on well-crafted genre blurring electronic music. As for my
own work, apart from what I already mentioned, I've got tracks coming up on
several various artist projects (Elevator Bath, Critical Path, Keshhhhhh, and
a/O). My next performance is to be part of a label showcase event for Elevator
Bath here in Seattle on August 16th, 2008. The other artists will include Matt
Shoemaker, Adam Pacione, Rick Reed, and Jim Haynes.
(Interview conducted by Sébastien Moig)
Tokafi (July 2008)
Stability is a double-edged sword: Too little of it evokes chaos, too much of it
guarantees boredoom. Over the last eight years, Dale Lloyd has managed to
tread the fine line between these two extremes. Between 1984 and the new
millennium, his life was marked by sharp contrasts and constant changes: A
member of various Rock-oriented bands and recording projects, Lloyd
founded record company Manna in 1990. It lasted just two years. His second
stint in label-activities survived one year longer: æ, an entrepreneurial and
artistic collaboration with Clark Von Trotha, was closely connected to projects
like "Labradford", "Windy And Carl" and "His Name Is Alive". It put Seattle
firmly on the Sound Art- and Experimental map only months before Grunge
exploded. With demos sent in by some major acts lying promisingly on their
desk, æ died quietly and left a vacuum in its wake. For Lloyd, however, it also
offered a fresh start. Influenced by a love for field recordings and making use
of states of "hypnogogic mindfulness", he began publishing music under his
own name for the first time in the year 2000. It proved to be a fruitful direction:
Lloyd's environmental noises recomposed a unique, mystical and
mysterious world of sound, a naive and dreamy space of refuge. Intertwined
with these delicate murmurs, discreet drones caressed the cool air of a
forest of associations and whispers. In sync with his own output, he built his
most recent record company, AND/OAR into a focal point on the field
recording scene. The continuity of the label has secured it a prominent
position, with its breathtaking packaging designs grabbing headlines
worldwide. All the while, the various sublabels, diversifying into Pop territory
among others, have kept Lloyd's vision stimulatingly eclectic and surprising.
It is a well-balanced combination unified by the will to undiscriminatingly
integrate various influences and creating music of timeless value.
Tokafi: Hi! How are you? Where are you?
DL: Hello! I’m in my office in Seattle listening to an upcoming release by Yuki
Tokafi: What’s on your schedule right now?
DL: I just released the first CD from the new mOAR subdivision by Mou, Lips!
entitled “Untree”. Currently at the manufacturer are releases by ºSone
(Yannick Dauby, Christophe Havard & Hughes Germain) entitled,
“Passerelle” and a joint release with Alluvial Recordings and FO A RM
Projects for Arsenije Jovanovic entitled, “Galiola – Works For Radio, 1967 –
2000”. I’ve got a very busy year ahead with a lot of releases planned.
As for my own work, there is a much delayed CD to come out on Cherry
Music in Japan, my first solo vinyl LP (for Elevator Bath), and I’ve been trying
to finish tracks for a 3” disc on The Locus Of (based in the UK), plus tracks
for compilations from Elevator Bath and Yui Onodera’s Critical Path label.
There are other works in progress as well, but nothing else slated for
Tokafi: What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
DL: Generally, I believe that there is only a crisis for those who look for a
crisis, and I think that one thing that has kept experimental music from
gaining wider acceptance are the attitudes of self limitation that have been
inherent within the community for a very long time. When people continue to
look at their own music as having a “limited appeal” then this is exactly what
they are setting up for themselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have
to change their music style; it just means that by shifting their focus and
changing their attitude, they start to attract conditions that will allow for a
different outcome to what they are trying to accomplish. The reason why I can
say this with any kind of confidence is because of my own experiences in the
matter. Granted, some people take pride in the fact that their work only
appeals to a certain group of people, so that would obviously be their choice.
As for the situation of MP3 blogs giving away entire albums without
permission (regardless of the label or artist’s requests to remove them),
while on the surface this inconsiderate kind of activity seems like it might
pose a threat to the financial support of recording labels and self-releasing
artists, I spent time thinking more about it (after some initial misgivings) and
concluded that in the long term, there is nothing (for me at least) to worry
about. Especially in light of what I just said about shaping your own reality.
Tokafi: Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a
DL: Sure. So far, it appears to be somewhere in the realm of sound art and
Tokafi: What, would you say, are the factors of your creativity? What “inspires”
DL: Cinema and natural sonic phenomena are two things that have long
inspired me, but I’m not afraid to admit that other people’s sound work
inspires and somehow informs what I do as well. I don’t buy it when certain
artists say they don’t listen to other artists who work within their own genre. If
everyone were so self absorbed and aloof to what else was going on out
there, then none of us would get anywhere. My belief is that everything we are
exposed to has an influence on us whether we are conscious of it or not. If
we like something, then we might incorporate some aspect of it. If we don’t
like something, then we try to stay away from it. Both situations influence us
to make a particular decision about our own work. This is why my standard
answer to this type of question is “everything”.
Tokafi: How would you describe your method of composing?
DL: Some of my best work comes from being in a state of what I term
“hypnogogic mindfulness”, which means that when I drift into a half awake,
half meditative state, my conscious mind gets out of the way and lets things
happen. I also work well in a “stream of conscious” type of way where
everything flows quickly, naturally and without thinking about it.
Tokafi: What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
DL: It means "something I haven’t heard before”, which is NOT to be
confused with “something that hasn’t been done before” which is a pointless
claim to make and a pointless stance to take. Who’s to say what has never
been done before? Yet one could say that all music is a perpetual evolution
or variation of that which came before it, which would technically render
everything as “new”.
Tokafi: Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself?
Or to put it differently: Should art have a political/social or any other aspect
apart from a personal sensation?
DL: Socially, I believe recording labels that charge money for their releases
should feel a sense of responsibility if they are to serve as trusted filters in
deciding which music (of their chosen genre) to make available to the public.
Some would say that music by nature is “political”, but I think everyone
should have the right to choose whether their work serves that purpose or
not. And when I say “political” I refer to things like elections, national and
regional concerns, wars, environmental issues, civil rights issues, etc.
Tokafi: How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach
wider audiences without sacrificing their soul?
DL: As I’ve said, I think it begins with what an individual thinks is possible.
Forget about what history or prior experience has shown, or what the so-
called “experts in the field” have to say. It’s really up to the individual and what
kind of outcome they choose to remain focused on. Anything is possible.
Tokfai: You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would
be on your program?
DL: Can I dream? Give me the budget and staff to make it happen and
and/OAR (either/OAR & mOAR) would host a festival featuring performances,
sound installations and film. I might invite the following, among others:
(Performances) Oren Ambarchi, Steinbrüchel, Eliane Radigue, Francisco
Lopez, Steve Roden, Billy Gomberg, Yuki Kaneko, Celer, Corey Fuller &
Opitope, Kim Myhr, Kai Fagaschinski, Toshimaru Nakamura, Arve Henriksen,
BJ Nilsen, David Stackenas, Martin Küchen, Matt Shoemaker, Günter
Müller/Tomas Korber/Jason Kahn, Werner Dafeldecker, Ryuichi Sakamoto &
Fennesz and or Ryuichi Sakamoto & Christopher Willits.
(Installations) Rolf Julius, Steve Roden, Christina Kubisch, Brian Eno, Marc
Behrens, CM Von Hausswolff, Akio Suzuki, Miki Yui, Robin Minard, Yannick
Dauby/Wan-Shuen Tsai, Steve Peters, Skoltz_Kolgen.
(Film/Performance) Jurgen Rebel/Thomas Koner, Aono Jikken Ensemble,
Ivan Palacky & Vera Lukasona, Kamran Sadeghi, Akira Rabelais & Stephan
Mathieu, Phill Niblock.
Tokafi: Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what
yours would sound like?
Lost Transmission From Planet Zero - issue 1 (Autumn 2006)
LTFPZ: So how did you come up with the and/oar idea?
If am not mistaken earlier it used to be 'oar' solely and then was
DL: 'OAR' is a referential acronym for a previous label called Overheard And
Rendered. Originally, and/OAR started as a sub-label of Overheard And
Rendered, but it quickly became more active and popular than its parent
label, so I eventually decided to cease operations of "OAR" to focus only on
a/O. The main focus of a/O has always been upon environmental recordings
and their use in various kinds of avant-garde sound art. I also chose the
name because I liked the inclusive nature of the phrase "and/or" in English,
as well as the linguistic / Boolean reference to the word "ear" in languages
such as German (ohr), Dutch (oor), French (oreille), Italian (orecchio),
Portugese (orelha), etc.
LTFPZ: How did you get interested in the field recordings genre and really
remember how you were introduced to this 'world'?
DL: As with most people, my first exposure to it was with its use in various
kinds of music genres; and for as long as I've been working with music /
sound, I've often included it in my own productions, but actually, it wasn't until
I heard various work released on the Touch / Ash International labels that I
started to disassociate straight environmental recordings from only being an
added effect for music, and also the somewhat utilitarian use with "new age"
or sound effects releases. Along with that, I started to listen to the world
around me with a different perspective; and on philosophical / spiritual
levels, I also found this to have important relevance as well, hence one of the
reasons I started the label. Of course labels like Folkways had already been
doing this for decades, but having discovered work released by Touch / Ash
lead me to go back and investigate older work that had been outside of my
radar range of attention previously.
LTFPZ: Regarding your recordings, you are not a 'purist' but mix your field
recordings with electronics & other media. Can you give me a few details
around your work?
DL: Yes, most of the time, and even most of what sound like straight field
recordings in my work are actually nothing but foley work ("foley work " refers
to creating a particular sound environment out of various unrelated elements.
It is a term mostly used in the film and video game industries). Actually, this
is one of the biggest misconceptions I read in reviews about my work.
Writers have thought that certain passages were straight field recordings,
when they are not. But of course, I take this as an unintended compliment.
LTFPZ: Can you give me some infos on Phonography.org? and/oar has
released (or at least distributes) the site's / mailing list's compilations as
well, can you give me some details around them as well?
DL: From 2001 to 2005 I produced a series of compilations for
Phonography.org, which is an internet resource and info site (with an
affiliated discussion forum) devoted to the art of field recording (or
"phonography"). The term literally means "sound writing", and the general
idea can be summed up in the analogy, "as photography is to the eye,
phonography is to the ear." The initial idea was for the compilations to serve
as a vehicle to help get the forum member's work heard. But guests were
also included as time went on. Eventually, the compilations started gaining
interest outside of the forum. The compilations were released and
distributed by me, but the a/O name never appeared on the covers because it
was supposed to be presented as a project of Phonography.org. But after
producing 9 compilations (in 4 years), I felt like that particular concept had
run its course, plus I became increasingly too busy with other projects to
continue doing it anymore.
LTFPZ: Any people, projects or whatever that have been an influence to you
and your work (both audio & with and/oar)?
DL: In all honesty, if I were to pin down some of the biggest sources of
inspiration for and/OAR as a recording label, I would have to say:
- Touch / Ash International
- Criterion (DVD)
- Trente Oiseaux
- 12k / Line
As for my own work, there are too many great and inspiring sound artists to
name, but I will say that the cinema has inspired my various approaches to
sound work more than any sound artist, and I would be remiss if I didn't
acknowledge a huge debt to various natural sonic phenomena as well; for
these have been largely what I have aesthetically drawn upon when creating
and transforming sound sources from one thing to another.
LTFPZ: How about the releasing artists of and/oar, how do you come up with
the releases? Any fave of yours so far from the catalogue?
Even though my release schedule is always booked a year in advance, I
am always vigilantly searching for unique straight environmental work that
has rarely or never been released on CD before; which sadly, does not cross
my path very often, so most of the future schedule consists of composed
work. But I am very excited about the upcoming schedule regardless, with
solid work by Michael Northam, a great multi-artist project curated by
Kenneth Kirschner, a second various artist cinema-inspired project (this one
pertaining to Yasujiro Ozu), a straight capture release dealing with "singing"
and "booming" sand by Rob Mullender & Isobel Clouter, the second live
collaboration release of Yannick Dauby & Christophe Havard, other
collaboration releases by Seth Nehil & Matt Marble, and Marc Behrens &
Paulo Raposo, a double CD release by a relatively unknown Japanese artist
named Yui Onodera ( a CD re-issue of his out of print "Entropy" CDR, and a
new full length work), etc, etc.
But as for some personal favorites in the a/O catalog, I would have to say
"Fade With Consequence" by Duul_Drv, "Yours Gray" by Sawako, "Plumbing
And Irrigation Of South Asia" by Quiet American, "The Sun" by Andrew
Deutsch, "Shiso" by Koura, "Location Recordings" by Jon Tulchin, the Andrei
Tarkovsky project, to name but a few.
E / I Magazine - issue 6 (Winter / Spring 2006)
If essence can adhere to a name, the and/OAR Boolean pun is an apt
banner for this growing family of limited edition CDR (and CD) releases, a
broad set of pleasurable conjunctions, rich disjunctions and propulsive
human / environmental transactions. Curated by artist Dale Lloyd, a former
indie-rock musician/producer, since 2001 the label has released over 30
albums, including nearly ten compilations with Phonography.org. and/OAR's
roster embraces the "environmental" in a broad context. "We can hear
without listening," says Pauline Oliveros in sympathy. "How we listen creates
*Note: reviews of Sawako: Yours Gray, Dale Lloyd: Semper, Duul_Drv: Fade
With Consequence, John Hudak: Sand Or Stars, Heribert Friedl: Raumzitate,
Jos Smolders: Habitat, Stuart Dodman: You Fill Me, and Dallas Simpson: For
Alderney follow after the segment above. To read these, please visit the
individual release info pages.
Fear Drop - issue 10 (August 2003)
Phonography.org is above all, a website dedicated to phonography (field
recording) with which Marcelo Radulovich gathers resources and information
about composers using that type of recording. To Dale Lloyd (one of the
most active members of the group), a logical step following this involvement
was to release compilations. They are the ideal framework to prove that
phonography is not a genre but is like a main instrument that will be used
differently according to the composers who'll bring it to extremely varied
To this day, five volumes were released (but two new ones are forthcoming)
in two collections: three volumes feature artists from various horizons,
whereas the other two, entitled "Compositions Using Field Recordings",
introduce the work of the group members. Through tracks composed by
Richard Lerman, Toy Bizarre, Murmer, The Beige Channel, Ven Voisey, AS11,
John Hudak, Yannick Dauby, Eric La Casa, Rod Stasick, Doug Haire, Jeff
Carey (aka 87 Central), Cal Crawford, Sawako, Cornucopia (among others
equally impassioning), those moments stolen in time embrace different
gestures often singular, mixing musique concrete, dark ambient,
minimalistic electronic... whether they're marked by those genres or imply
In addition, but in another logic, Dale Lloyd created the and/OAR label in
order to give more space to some artists and to his own music made of very
dark and sustained drones, in a play oscillating between proximity and
distance ("Eminus" and "Vulcan Augmented"). An important part is devoted to
sonic microscopies, digitalized abstraction with for instance, the laptop duet
Yannick Dauby and Christophe Havard or "Seismo" the mini CDR release by
Rsundin, a sweet and hardly perceptible combination of pink feedbacks, field
recordings, and piano; as to natural microscopies captured by Andrew Duke
(whose "field recordings" one would swear are reprocessed) or Quiet
American whose "Plumbing And Irrigation Of South Asia" is striking in its
scenes which are so detailed that they seem composed... or in another
fashion, in Maggie Payne's "Ping/Pong: beyond the pail", through sonic
vibrations captured thanks to different mics and the various positions of a
bucket under rain.
Reality is much more than what we perceive!
translated from French to English by Fabrice Linnsky