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Dispatches from the Drift

by Tara Jane O'Neil

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    200 pro dub Super Ferric tapes in clear, imprinted shells with three color, Risograph-printed photo j-cards packaged in black & white Norelco cases. Cover art by Tara Jane O'Neil. Design & printing by Issue Press. 11 tracks, 63 minutes.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Dispatches from the Drift via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Purchasable with gift card

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Long Key 08:50
Hurdy Short 01:17


Typically I use voice memos or computer programs to catch ideas and work out the really sticky ones. These pieces were recorded on iPhone or the computer program I use to monitor when I had the presence to press record. They were promptly forgotten. These are not sketches of ideas that may be revisited, these sounds were not looking for a form or seeking to be known. These are complete, traveling pieces that resolve or simply end. At the end of the dismal and seismic year called 2020, I found these improvisations on my phone or my hard drive while looking for those typical fragments of inspiration I could use to make into something else through the ordinary alchemical process of making songs.
What a trick I played on myself! Thinking I hadn’t made much music during the lockdown. Tricked in to thinking that I had to be inspired or productive during the pandemic. Thinking that any previous metric or vocation would be valid during such a time. These recordings are things that got caught in the drift. These are some of what I did in the drift, without thinking.
Not playing shows or making a record for the first time since I was 19 has been truly confusing but again the trick is on me during the moments of fret about this. Music is eternal. Music doesn’t need a venue or a contract. What a gift to be able to play with music and what a gift to have it in the year 2020. And what a gift to find these keyboard recordings of sonic meander and repetition.
What a gift that music exists and on these recorded occasions I was simply playing with it, for play. Without lyricism or intention these are recordings of sonic meander and repetition rendered by keyboard. The exception is A Sunday 2020, and its preamble. It meets certain criteria for inclusion here as the keyboard and wordless vocals were improvised just like the others. However on this one I did use my old familiar hammer, the guitar for melodic shape.
These found ambient pieces were not edited to feel narrative, and weren’t made with sharing in mind. Use them however you like.


released July 23, 2021

This music was improvised on keyboards by Tara Jane O’Neil during the pandemic lockdown in Southern California April 2020 - February 2021.

These are solitary moments captured on varied devices and discovered again months later.

Please enjoy the rangey fidelity and sonic quality.

Mastered by Matt Bachmann

Cover painting by Tara Jane O'Neil

Much Love to All
And to Owen Ashworth
And to my companions during the drift, Jmy Kidd and Teeny Dolly Martin.
And to the spirit if Ron Burns and Gabriel Wrye.

© Tara Jane O’Neil 2021 (BMI)


all rights reserved



Tara Jane O'Neil California

TJO is a multi-instrumentalist,composer,producer and visual artist. She creates melodic and experimental music under her own name and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers and filmmakers. As a solo artist she has released 10 full-length albums.A founding member of Rodan and guest player for countless others, TJO has performed around the world at DIY spaces, festivals and the Pompidou. ... more

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