Öona Dahl on Creating Celestial Dolphin Soundscapes

Part of the weekend never dies, and that’s especially true now that the Bay Area’s “real” summer in full swing. With infinite possibilities, it can often be difficult to choose just one party, but for those that crave the outdoor daylong experience, Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream collective makes its way back to the Bay for one last party before fall officially sets in.

Featured on the bill is artist Öona Dahl who has spent the past couple of years exploring musical themes that combine her love of nature, the possibilities of other dimensions, and the journey of finding a “true self.” As a member of the All Day I Dream collective, she can often be found behind the decks creating a dreamlike, psychedelic ambiance during her sets. We caught up with Öona Dahl to hear her thoughts about the unconscious, her collaborative Slumber alias, and what she has in store for Sunday’s set.

All Day I Dream of Floating Cities takes place 1 p.m.- 9 p.m. this Saturday, [10/1] at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland.

Tell us the story of your first DJ experience ever.
I still remember it so vividly. It was 2002 and I was at a loft where my friends and I would throw after-hours in NY. Around 7 a.m., everyone who played records was done for the night and hanging out on the couch.   I decided to go through my friend’s records because no one really wanted the music to stop. Shortly after this I started getting lessons from that friend and bought a set of my own turntables.

A lot of your work, like Slumber and Hallucienda, reference to the unconscious. What draws you to that dimension?
It’s not so much the unconscious I draw inspiration from, but rather the possibilities of other states and dimensions, whether reality based or not. The imagination should know no boundaries and not least of which sonically. Thi,s combined with the feeling of all and my respect for nature [are in my music].

How did you connect with the All Day I Dream label?
I dream walked to them, shortly after a very special mutual friend played Lee one of my songs, “High Eyes.” Not long after that he realized it was me and got in touch.

What is the best part of being in the collective? How often do you see each other besides performing together?
There is something about the label as a whole that I have always found fascinating — from the music to the art to everyone apart of it. Everyone involved is so talented and special. We are like a little family; it’s truly a beautiful connection between all of us. Being able to express myself and be who I am is also important. We all travel, tour, and live in different cities, so the events are what brings us back together again. A lot of us live in Berlin so we meet/cross paths there, too.

This summer you were able to release your first full EP on the ADID label. What were some inspirations behind that?
The release tells a story of life, light, and finding your true self…your soul. In the end, it becomes a full circle to complete the cycle.

Tell us about your Slumber alias and how it differs from your own sound. Any upcoming releases for you two?
Slumber is my other project with my good friend Amber Cox. Slumber still embodies the dream world but invokes darker emotions. We have a remix of “Splintered Sun” by Justin Marchacos coming out soon on Cityfox and an original featuring vocalist Amunet Shah titled “Temple” that will be out on Motek in October.

You’ve cited Burning Man as one of your inspirations. Were you able to attend this year?
Yes, I was fortunate to be able to attend again this year. Everything about Burning Man is an inspiration. Each year though, for me, what sticks out the most are the sacred experiences I have alone or with like-minded people. There is something special about that place where you are able to transcend and descend. Words cannot describe it.

Moving into the party on Saturday, what signals the close of summer for you?
This party, actually!

Characterize your upcoming set for All Day I Dream in a few words.
Celestial dolphin soundscapes.

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