Tod Dockstader - Omniphony
  Year :   1966
  Location :   USA
  Worktype :   Tape Composition
  Materials:   -
  Info :   ReR TODD1 [2002] Reissue with a stereo version of Study No. 7 of the Eight Electronic Pieces and Past Prelude.

  Work Details  
  Omniphony is a pioneering work in musical composition. Never before have modern recording techniques been used to shape the content and form of instrumental music, nor have the elements and techniques of electronic with those of instrumental composition. Previously, works for tape and orchestra such as Varèses Déserts and Stockhausens Kontakte, were designed for concert hall performance, the tape playing simultaneously with the orchestral performance. The techniques of electronic composition that produced the tape were not applied to the orchestra and the acoustics of the concert hall prevented the orchestra and taped sounds from being blended perfectly. However, in Omniphony, the range, timbre, dynamics, and natural durations of the orchestral sounds have been expanded through electronic means and therefore have a new and common ambiance with the non-orchestral sounds. The work was completed in May, 1967 but was begun over four years earlier. Two composers conceived, wrote and executed the work, their talents being inextricably bound together in its composition. In 1963, Tod Dockstader composed a set of taped sounds which he called cells. They were both natural sounds (those that move the air, e.g. bells, wind, voice, etc.) and electronically generated sounds (modulation that goes directly to tape, as from oscillators, recording circuitry, etc.). James Reichert then familiarised himself with the cells, and composed a series of instrumental parts which were based upon the sound intentions of Dockstaders cells. But they could not proceed any further without recording the instrumental parts. Three years and many foundations later, the recording of these inparts was commissioned by Owl Records. The session took place in March 1966 at the Gotham Recording Corporation studios in New York City. After the orchestral recording, those inparts originally composed for the purpose were transmuted through the facilities of the independent Electronic Music Center at Trumansburg, New York, using R.A.Moog music processing equipment. Specifically, this transmutation meant changing the sound of the inparts by expanding or compressing instrumental ranges and dynamics, and by adding to, or reducing, the natural harmonics of the instrumental sounds. Now, Omniphony consisted of over 100,000 feet of tape, all of which was then edited and organised into four classifications: pure instrumental sounds, electronically transmuted instrumental sounds, natural sounds, and pure electronically generated sounds. Next came the mixing of these sounds, and again the facilities of the Gotham Recording Corporation were used. This last phase was the most important of all because it would be then, and only then, that Dockstader and Reichert would know if their adventurous concepts would materialise into a valid musical work of major proportions, or just an experimental curiosity for hi-fi buffs. A year later they finished the re-composition. This recording of Omniphony is the premiere and only performance of their work.Accessed 15.11.06 from