This unexpected CD premieres 15 electronic music works from Tod Dockstader, “one of the giants in the field” (The Washington Post). Carefully selected from over 4,200 sound files left behind by Dockstader, who died in 2015, these were the last pieces composed by Dockstader, before dementia stopped his studio work. When thousands of files were discovered on Dockstader’s computer, his daughter Tina Dockstader Kinard encouraged a devoted enthusiast, Justin H Brierley, to shift through this extensive material. He painstakingly located hundreds of selections potentially suitable for public release, sorted through these, and eventually sent over 50 promising sound files to Starkland’s Thomas Steenland. Having worked with Dockstader and promoted his music for over 35 years, Steenland carefully reduced these to the final 15 tracks heard on the CD.
In her Introduction, Geeta Dayal discusses the music:
“Dockstader stayed relentlessly modern and innovative, pushing into new sonic territories well into his 70s. “From the Archives” sounds radical and new, as fresh as if it was made today. And through it all, this music – like all of Dockstader’s music – is endlessly listenable and inviting, showing a flair for melody, texture, and rhythm even in its most challenging passages… Here, we see Dockstader’s tremendous sonic and emotional range on full display. The cascade of bright music-box chimes of Anat Loop is punchy and upbeat; the clatter of Creek Bells is eerie and sepulchral, like imagined music for a black-and-white horror movie. Mystery Creak is busy and active, a collision of contrasting textures; Choral Mix is placid and slow-moving, a meditative expanse of sound. The CD concludes with a striking coda, Big Jig. Unlike anything previously heard from Dockstader, this pulsing sonic assault could almost have emerged from the studio of Japan’s noise composer Merzbow.”
In addition to Dayal’s Introduction, the CD’s booklet contains comments from Tina Kinard, Justin H Brierley, and Executive Producer Thomas Steenland. The album was mastered by Grammy-winner Silas Brown.