Muted (adjective): To muffle, dampen, or soften the sound of.
Stories (plural noun): Narratives, either true or fictitious. Tales. Shorter and less
elaborate than novels.
Hello, my name is Dale Lloyd and I'm the founder of and/OAR which (since 2001) has
been a recording label predominately focused on various forms of environmental
recordings, experimental music (or "sound art”) and electronic music.
For those not familiar with the "various artists" projects I’ve produced for and/OAR in
the past my aim is to always create cohesive conceptual albums containing high
quality original work rather than compiling label samplers for promotional purposes.
The and/OAR “v/a” projects are intended to stand up artistically on their own, with all
of the pieces contributing to a whole or collectively making up "one body of work". For
example, in the past I have produced three releases pertaining to film directors and
their films (Andrei Tarkovsky, Yasujiro Ozu, and Michelangelo Antonioni). Suitably, I
do tend to view each release as if I’m producing a film consisting of segments
directed by different people.
One particular trait of music, sound art and older environmental / documentary
recordings that has long fascinated me is sound quality often lacking crisp high
frequencies and/or “state of the art” sound quality - especially when combined with
unrefined, understated, pastoral mysterious, and/or oblique compositional elements,
which seem to convey moments or experiences overlooked by most people, which
are nevertheless imbued with deep significance by the composer or recordist.
I suspect the attraction to this kind of audio quality when used in music and audio art
is partially due to a fondness stemming from many years of needing to "make do"
with lower priced tapes, limited kinds of recording gear and make-shift multi-tracking
techniques. Perhaps it’s also an act of defiance against the Capitalism-induced
notion of “you get what you pay for” (i.e. cheap gear leads to less valuable results)?
Composer Steve Reich would surely tell you it’s not a matter of having the right
equipment, but what you and your musical imagination do with what you have that
matters. I also feel part of the attraction stems from being reminded of older
experimental film, and even older documentaries, which could be referred to as
"muted cinema". Guy Sherwin and Derek Jarman (his super 8 films in particular)
would be two directors who come to mind, visually and sonically as in the case of
Sherwin’s “optical sound” films. I can certainly say that I've intentionally and
aesthetically adopted such sound quality (on and off) with my own recorded work
since the early 1990s.
I would be remiss, if I didn't mention that some of the sound work by Delia Derbyshire
and Eliane Radigue inspired the concept of this project as well.
What I propose is a project of interpretations of the term "muted stories". Even if that
means telling no story at all - simply letting your piece “speak” for itself.
While it's not necessary, I highly encourage tape recorded work if possible (mono or
stereo). For the sake of overall time restrictions of a physical format release, I will
ask that the tracks not be much longer than 5 minutes – or if so, please provide both
long and short versions just in case there is enough time to accommodate the longer
version. The submissions can be older recordings or already finished work, but
please only previously unreleased work for this project since this is not intended to be
a standard “V/A” compilation, as mentioned above. I would also be interested in short
essays or personal thoughts in relation to the concept of this album for inclusion in the
Here is a summary of guidelines:
- Pieces or moods which are illustrative of a moment that could easily be
overlooked by most people, but are deeply significant to you.
- Understated, low-key and/or contemplative moods are encouraged.
- Recordings must be muffled or devoid of high frequencies or overly “crisp”
high fidelity. Preferably no higher than 640 hertz, which is right in the center
of the EQ spectrum. I may make exceptions for tracks containing frequencies
slightly above the 640 hertz range depending on the context.
- Mono-sounding recordings are encouraged, however the pieces do not
need to be mono.
- Recordings made on tape are encouraged but not necessary.
- Submissions can be older recordings or already finished pieces, but only
previously unreleased or unavailable work please.
- Even though “stories” is part of the concept, talking or singing is not
- Track duration for the CD release should not be longer than 5 minutes. More than
one track submission is welcome. You could even send two tracks that total no
longer than 5 minutes in length for possible consideration.
A new and final deadline for the CD release will be determined once I have
talked to everyone involved with the currently worked on releases.
This open call is mostly intended for the online "and/camp" counterpart project of the
Muted Stories CD release which is being worked on at the same time. Depending on
how much time is available, it's possible some tracks might get migrated to the CD
release. Also, I'm considering making this an ongoing series to be featured via
"and/camp", so if pieces are not used for one album, they might get featured for a
next one. It would really depend on the combination of tracks I have to work with at
any given time, and how well they sync together as one album.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thank you very much for your time and interest.