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15 Questions to Dale Lloyd

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hello! I’m in my office in Seattle listening to an upcoming release by Yuki Kaneko.

What’s on your schedule right now?
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 release yet.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
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.

Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
Sure. So far, it appears to be somewhere in the realm of sound art and field recordings.

What, would you say, are the factors of your creativity? What “inspires” you?

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”.

How would you describe your method of composing?
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.

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?

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”.

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?
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.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences without sacrificing their soul?
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.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?

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.

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?

Akasha_For Record (Elevator Bath) 2008
Heliotrope (Cherry Music / and/OAR) 2008
Semper (Alluvial Recordings / and/OAR) 2006
Volatile And Fixed Principles (Leerraum) 2004
Aionios The Fundament (Mystery Sea)  2004
Elemental Dialogue (s'agita recordings) 2003
Eminus: Hymns From The Horizon (and/OAR) 2002 / 2003
Vulcan Augmented (and/OAR) 2001
Know Random Events (Overheard And Rendered) 2000
Like Ullyses (Staalplaat / Open Circuit / Overheard And Rendered) 2000

Dale Loyd
And/Oar Recordings

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