Whoever has heard about Tod Dockstader? I certainly didn’t. But maybe that’s because Tod Dockstader is a little bit older than me… Dockstader was born in 1932 in St.Paul, Minnesota. The booklet tells us Tod can be seen as one of the founders of real “electronic music.” In 1958, he apprenticed as a recording engineer at Gotham Recording, after working as an apprentice film editor for animated cartoons, including “Mr. Magoo” and “Gerald McBoingBoing”. At this major commercial studio, Dockstader used off-work hours to collect interesting sounds and to experiment with “musique concrete.” After a lot of experimenting, he had built these sounds into his first “Eight Pieces.” Fragments of these early works were even used by Fellini in his film “Fellini Satyricon”… In 1960, the first stereo devices became available, and Dockstader revised some previous sounds into his first stereo piece, called Travelling music. And that’s the first track on this CD. With only a two-track recorder, gong, one test generator, jet plane, metal plate, metal bowl, voice, hollow tube and adhesive tape (!!), he created a magnificent piece of music, that still retains its relevance after thirty years. It’s all very cool and rather empty music, but it has a frightening impact beyond imagination.
When I was listening to this CD, I had difficulty believing that these recordings were actually made before I even was born! I can imagine that people who heard Dockstader’s music in the early 60s were more than confused… This is a release which contains not only very interesting sounds, but is also a must for electronic lovers, since this is one on the backbones of modern experimental music. TIP ! (There is also another Dockstader-CD available, so request for the free Starkland-catalog!)