Originally self-released in 1961 and later issued by Folkways, Tod Dockstader's Eight Electronic Pieces is a foundational document of American electronic music and a stunning first work from this revolutionary composer. Refused access to the resources and funding of the academy and without any interest from the record industry, Dockstader assembled his debut album through three years of his own private labor – recording after-hours at the New York radio station where he worked.
Dockstader's approach was informed by the laboratory experiments of his European contemporaries Edgar Varèse and Pierre Schaefer as well as by the aleatory compositional techniques and neo-dadaist aesthetics of John Cage. While Dockstader famously described his music as "organized sound," Eight Electronic Pieces is not pure musique concrète. Oscillators pulse and clash with fragments of incidental tape music, leaving collages of sound as tuneful and memorable as they are otherworldly.
A visionary debut that presages the abstract ambience of modern IDM and an essential addition to any collection of early electronic music.