Born in Montreal, Cal Lyall studied electronic composition and jazz performance in Quebec, eventually moving westward in Canada to teach music and perform. An interest in diverse musical forms led to intense travel and study throughout Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent, including lengthy visits to India, Pakistan and Iran. A visit to Japan in 1998 led to long-term residency in Tokyo, where he is currently active as a sound artist focusing on improvisation, folk music and urban noise.
Involved in the arts scene in Japan for over fifteen years, he has organized large-scale performances involving both Japanese and overseas artists, while also remaining a key member of a number of musical groups which have toured both locally and internationally. His musical activities are documented on over 30 albums he has both produced (including three full-length compilations released on medama records in Japan) and contributed to as a writer or musician. As a curator, he established the monthly Test Tone concert series in 2005 at Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe. Featuring over a thousand distinct artists over its 9 year run, it reached its 100th installment in 2014.
With an active performance schedule in Japan and past tours through Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, China, Korea, Australia and the US, he also heads up the Subvalent record label and oversees the Tokyo Hub of Jolt Sonic Arts (Australia).