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TOD DOCKSTADER: more comments

I don't remember just when I first heard musique concrète; it must have been in the early '50s. I think I liked the idea of it more than the Toonerville-Trolley sound of the early pieces.

In Pierre Schaeffer's original definition, it meant working with the sound in your ears, directly with the sound, as opposed to "abstract" music in which the sounds are written. Like Schaeffer, a working sound engineer, I had the training to be a "worker in rhythms, frequencies, and intensities."

In the beginning, musique concrète wasn't even agreed upon to be music; Schaeffer's first presentation of his work was called "a concert of noises."


Dockstader studio photo


Any art is, of course, not just all the possibilities; it is also choice – organization. That this new sound-art could be rigorously organized I first learned by hearing Edgard Varèse's Poème électronique of 1958 – a powerfully dramatic work in which the strength and personality of choice among all the possibilities is very evident. My choice of the term "Organized Sound" for my own work was, in part, a tribute to the Poème and to Varèse.


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Tod Dockstader Quatermass CD Cover from Starkland

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