A small note in the booklet of the Olivia Tremor Control's Dusk at Cubist Castle invited listeners to send tape recordings of themselves describing their dreams, real or imaginary, to the band's post office box in Athens, GA. Many did, and those tapes are the basis of the Black Swan Network.
The Black Swan Network are the Olivia Tremor Control under an assumed name (a conceit the prolific neo-psychedelicists are extremely fond of). William Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, John Fernandes, and Pete Erchick first debuted their musique concrète alter egos on the EP The Olivia Tremor Control Vs. the Black Swan Network in early 1997. This seven-track EP, an outgrowth of the ambient experiments on the bonus disc included with early copies of Dusk at Cubist Castle, recast fragments of tunes from that album into trippy new sound sculptures accented with all kinds of found sounds and tape manipulations. In August of that year, the Australian psych label Camera Obscura released The Late Music (Volume One), a full-length Black Swan Network CD with seven lengthy untitled pieces combining the heavily-processed dream description tapes with various instruments and noises to create a type of instrumental mood music too unsettled to be called ambient.
As the Olivia Tremor Control moved on to albums like Black Foliage: Animation Music and a new series of side projects and solo recordings, their interest in the Black Swan Network waned, and no new releases were forthcoming. ~ Stewart Mason