In essence, it is the only Grateful Dead or Grateful Dead-related record that features participation by every person who was ever in the group between 1965 and 1995.
Grayfolded was released 1994/5 in two parts on the SWELL/Artifact label. Out of print by 2000, Oswald's fony label reissued the Grayfolded 2cd disc set (fony 68/95), which includes an essay by musicologist Rob Bowman, 2 timemaps of Dark Star, as well as several interviews, in August 2004.
In an interview in 1995 Oswald described how the project came about:
Phil Lesh called me up and talked me into doing it. At that point, I hadn't listened to any Grateful Dead music in about twenty years. I did think I was qualified, because I do think it's often a good idea to come into a project without a lot of prior knowledge and get kind of an alien's overview of what the music seems to be, and then put in your own two cents of what you think it should be. And I think that was the case for this. During the course of working on it, I went to a couple of Grateful Dead concerts, but other than that, I haven't listened to anything except these hundred versions of "Dark Star" that I found in the vaults.
On another occasion Oswald said that he had been asked (by David Gans) to produce something very short, he explained his response to this suggestion:
What interested me most about the Grateful Dead was their extended playing style. I wrote a counter-proposal to David saying, 'Well, I've been thinking about it and all I can hear is the opposite - something very long.
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