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TOD DOCKSTADER: additional comments

I think I was aided, in my time and circumstances, by not having a synthesizer of any kind: no keyboards, no pre-set voices.

My "synthesizer" for everything on this CD was one or two sine-wave test generators ("oscillators" in those days) which were "played" by turning a dial. I forced them to produce harmonics (square waves) by amplifying them into distortion, and got pulse-trains out of them by temporarily rewiring them into instability (temporarily, because they had to resume life the next day as stable test generators). The "notes" they produced were achieved by editing tape, note by note (by note by note...). For Quatermass, I acquired a Heathkit test generator of my own, which I built to allow me to "switch" tones instead of having to "tune" them (like a radio). Also, when turned on or off, it made marvelous shrieks and groans.


Dockstader studio photo


Some composers who worked in what's been called the "glorious junkshop" of the now-classic tape studios have looked back in awe and dismay at the amount of hard, physical work it took to make a piece. But easier isn't necessarily better. I enjoyed it: I found it was like the best part of painting – standing on your feet all day, moving around, working with your hands, sometimes very fast, more often very slowly, mixing, cutting, stitching it together with the sound in your ears. It had a muscular joy to it. I think a lot of us had fun up on that singing high wire, teetering between control and chaos, trying to push the sound a little farther toward Something we hadn’t heard before, working in it... Listening.


Arrow Link Read more about Dockstader's Quatermass CD
Arrow Link Additional Dockstader comments
Arrow Link Dockstader biographical material

Arrow Link Read more about Dockstader's Apocalypse CD
Arrow Link More Dockstader comments


Arrow Link Visit a fine unofficial Dockstader website.

Tod Dockstader Quatermass CD Cover from Starkland

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   Pamela Z A Delay is Better download iTunes Starkland CD

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Tod Dockstader Apocalypse CD Cover from Starkland

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