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Dockstader, Tod: Aerial 1 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Important Records)

The first in a 3-part series of vinyl releases for Tod Dockstader's "Aerial 1-3", his major work of electronic drone environments developed over 15 years, using over 90 hours of shortwave radio sources, cross signals and fragments, creating vast atmospheric clouds from which emerge voices, mutated conversations and unexpected patterns; amazing!
 

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product information:


UPC: 793447545721

Label: Important Records
Catalog ID: IMPREC 457LP
Squidco Product Code: 28658

Format: 2 LPs
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Double LP Sleeve
Recorded, mixed and edited by the artist.


Personnel:

Tod Dockstader-composer, performer

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Artist Biographies:

"Tod Dockstader was born in 1932 in St.Paul, Minnesota. After majoring in psychology and art at the University of Minnesota, he went on to study painting and film, earning money by drawing cartoons for local newspapers and magazines. In 1955, Dockstader moved to California with his partner, Beverly, who had got a job teaching at an elementary school in Hollywood. He went looking for work and was rejected by Disney, but welcomed by United Productions of America (UPA) to work as an apprentice film editor, cutting picture and sound for animated cartoons including "Mr.Magoo" and "Gerald McBoing Boing." He then moved on to writing and storyboarding cartoons.Early Recordings

Dockstader moved to New York in 1958 and became a self-taught sound engineer and sound effects specialist and apprenticed as a recording engineer at Gotham Recording Studios. It was around this time that he started to use his off-work hours to experiment with mixing and manipulating sounds on magnetic tape (musique concrète). By 1960 he had amassed enough material to assemble his first record Eight Electronic Pieces which was released on the Folkways label in 1961 (this would later be used in the soundtrack of Fellini's Satyricon). The last of the eight pieces was later re-worked into his first stereo piece [Traveling Music]((/compositions/traveling-music/).

In 1961 he applied to use the facilities at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and was denied access by Vladimir Ussachevsky. Ussachevsky's official reason was the "overstrained" scheduling of the studios, although many suspect that Dockstader's lack of academic training was a factor in the decision.

He continued to create music throughout the first half of the 60s, working principally with tape manipulation effects. His last piece at Gotham was Four Telemetry Tapes in 1965, after which he left to work as an audio-visual designer on the Air Canada Pavillion at Montreal's Expo '67. It was around this time in 1966 that some of Dockstader's pieces were released on three Owl L.P.s, and his work became known to a larger audience. He achieved modest recognition and radio play alongside the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varèse, and John Cage.

Westport Communications

After leaving New York in the late 1960s he formed the audio-visual service Westport Communications Group along with business partner, and former Gotham executive, Fred Hertz. The company produced award-winning educational films for the American Heritage series, which Tod wrote, directed, and created sound for. By that time (late 60s) Tod and Beverly had a daughter, Tina who recalls her father immersing himself into each new project, becoming an expert on the subject at hand, be it the Civil War, the Roaring 20s, or some other aspect of American History.

Through his own company he was able to purchase the equipment, including at that time a Moog and two ARP Synthesizers. His only musical output of this period were two L.P.s of short, synth-based pieces released by Boosey & Hawkes and intended for film, radio, and television use.Late Recordings

In the late 90s, Tina, who was now starting a family of her own in Massachusetts, convinced Tod to get a computer so that they could keep in contact via email. He quickly realized the computer's potential for creating music and set about transferring hours and hours of DATs that he had accumulated over the years. During this time he released the three disc set Aerial and collaborated with David Lee Myers on two albums.

Later in his life, Tod cared for his wife Beverly, who suffered from Alzheimer's, and passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on February 27th, 2015 surrounded by his friends and family while listening to his own music."

-Tod Dockstader Website (https://dockstader.info/biography/)
11/25/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


SIDE A



1. Song 12:47

2. Om 6:01

SIDE B



1. Rumble 3:21

2. Shout 4:47

3. Raga 3:44

4. Dada 4:25

5. Tremblar 3:22

SIDE C



1. Lala 6:25

2. Myst 4:06

3. Aw 3:12

4. Harbor 3:22

SIDE D



1. Swell 7:49

2. Pulse 6:51

3. Second Song 1:30
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Tod Dockstader's Aerial series, an electronic/drone masterpiece, is cherished among fans of the artist's work and this first volume.

15 years in the making, Tod Dockstader's Aerial series is sourced from his life long passion for shortwave radio. Dockstader collected over 90 hours of recordings, made at night, and comprised of cross signals and fragments plucked from the atmosphere.

Opening with airwave drones, Dockstader gradually allows elements to slowly come and go, summoning an ominous atmosphere of ethereal cloud clouds. Malignant placidity continues, giving the feeling of eavesdropping upon late-night audio activity not unlike discovering number stations while sweeping the dials. These sounds pull you in as their density and rhythms come and go.

Backward voices, deep echoing choruses of conversations flowing under the surface, ocean sounds, pulsing electro-rhythms, all seem to be created via the collaging of many hours of source recordings. A masterwork of collage and juxtaposition by an overlooked pioneer of American electronic music.

The Aerial project

"I've written before of my interest in shortwave radio, in the notes to the Quatermass CD. Also, in the notes to the Omniphony CD (which has my first "Aerial" mix, "Past Prelude," in it), I mentioned "The Aerial Etudes," which was my working title for what became the three CDs you have. And, at the end of an interview with Chris Cutler (which can be found in the "Unofficial TD Website"), the piece I mentioned I was starting to work on at the time became Aerial.) When I was very young, people got most of their entertainment from radio. They called it "playing the radio," as if it were a musical instrument. That's what I've tried to do in this piece. About this time, a few people encouraged me to look into using a computer for this work.

I'd never used one, but I saw it would allow me to keep my mixes digital - no more transfer losses. So, at the end of 2001, I got a computer and an editing program for it, and spent what seemed a long time learning it. I began selecting mixes and loading them into the computer in late March, 2002. Out of the 580, I selected 90 "best" mixes - eventually reduced to 59, the ones on the CDs. Finally, in assembling the CDs, I followed David Myers' suggestion to allow each piece to flow into the next - making a continuous journey to the end."-Tod Dockstader, 14 september 2003

About Tod Dockstader:

Dockstader moved to New York in 1958 and became a self-taught sound engineer and sound effects specialist and apprenticed as a recording engineer at Gotham Recording Studios. It was around this time that he started to use his off-work hours to experiment with mixing and manipulating sounds on magnetic tape (musique concrète). By 1960 he had amassed enough material to assemble his first record Eight Electronic Pieces which was released on the Folkways label in 1961 (this would later be used in the soundtrack of Fellini's Satyricon). The last of the eight pieces was later re-worked into his first stereo piece.

In 1961 he applied to use the facilities at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and was denied access by Vladimir Ussachevsky. Ussachevsky's official reason was the "overstrained" scheduling of the studios, although many suspect that Dockstader's lack of academic training was a factor in the decision.

He continued to create music throughout the first half of the 60s, working principally with tape manipulation effects. His last piece at Gotham was Four Telemetry Tapes in 1965, after which he left to work as an audio-visual designer on the Air Canada Pavillion at Montreal's Expo '67. It was around this time in 1966 that some of Dockstader's pieces were released on three Owl L.P.s, and his work became known to a larger audience. He achieved modest recognition and radio play alongside the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varèse, and John Cage.

Press:

"This return of Dockstader is something to cherish, not just because his output has been so limited and scarce but because what we do have is so intriguing, persuasive and cliche-free; the music of an inspired explorer who trails in nobody's slipstream." The Wire

Unequivocably awesome...Grand in scope, colossal in sound. Mimaroglu Music

One of the great figures of musique concrete composition. Dusted

Somewhere in the invisible night, the signal remains strong, broadcasting anew. City Page

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Electro-Acoustic
Electroacoustic Composition
Acoustmatic Electronic Composition
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Compositional Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
New in Compositional Music


 
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