Compositions » Apocalypse

Apocalypse followed Luna: I wanted to do something heavier, thicker in texture, more unruly and alarming - a concrete Deis Irae. The slowed (creaking)doors and the cat-cry toy are central to it: they provided the threat and despair I wanted (the cat-cry toy was a little round box with a picture of a cat on it which, when you turned it upside down, emitted a thin, pathetic little cry - slowed[on tape], it became, I thought, heart-wrenching).

The passage of Gregorian chant, in Part Two, was used as a vocalization of the door sounds - I’m always looking for sounds of different timbres that express the same emotion. The inclusion of Hitler (tape-echoed into gibberish) in the last part is from my radio childhood, when I heard his broadcasts in the late thirties: I didn’t understand a word, but the terrifying sound of it (made stranger by the shortwave phasing) stayed with me.

The sonic boom(s) were almost the only sounds I had that had originally been recorded in stereo: the sound materials in all my work were, originally, almost all monaural, recorded all over the place in a time before portable stereo tape recorders (the “live” cat in Part Four sang one night outside our apartment window in the Village: I hung a mic out the window for most of the night, recording his arias).

First Part: Orchestral chimes, voice, generator, sonic boom (jet), pie tin, piano

Second Part: Various doors, generator, Gregorian chant

Third Part Cat-cry (toy), chimes, drum, voice, oilwell, piano

Fourth Part Generator, bamboo flute, chimes, hollow tube, a live cat, piano, jets, cymbal, voice (Adolph Hitler’s), drum

Apocalypse - Part Three


Apocalypse (STARKLAND, 1993)


Luna Park, Traveling Music, Drone, Apocalypse, Two Fragments from Apocalypse, Four Telemetry Tapes.

From A to Z (STARKLAND, 1993)


Excerpt from Luna Park, Part Three (from Apocalypse), Tango (from Quatermass), plus works by Paul Dresher, Joseph Kasinskas, Joseph Lukasik, Pamela Z, Barbara Imhoff, Charles Amirkhanian, and Phillip Kent Bimstein.

Ohm: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music (Ellipsis Arts, 2000)


Apocalypse (part 2), alongside early electronic works by other composers including Robert Ashley, David Behrman, John Cage, Luc Ferrari, Edgard Varèse (Poème Electronique) and Iannis Xenakis. A compilation on a 3xCD box set with 90-page booklet was originally released, then re-released as a “Special Edition” which included a 2 hour DVD containing films, interviews and animations of the various artists featured on the CDs.

Organised Sound by Tod Dockstader (Doxy Records, 2014-06-02)


Luna Park, Apocalypse, Traveling Music.

Organised Sound by Tod Dockstader (OWL Records, 1966)


Luna Park, Apocalypse, Traveling Music.