The renowned composer was 82 years old.
Known for his work in the musique concrète field, Dockstader worked as an apprentice film editor in Hollywood in the mid-’50s, before becoming a sound engineer in 1958. He was also responsible for creating sound effects for ’50s animations like Tom and Jerry, Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing-Boing.
Dockstader released his debut album in 1960, Eight Electronic Pieces, and continued to release music throughout the decade (Eight Electronic Pieces was also used as the soundtrack for Federico Fellini’s 1969 film Satyricon). After Gotham Recording Studios, where he worked, was shut down, his recorded output slowed down, but a series of ’90s reissues found him new recognition as a composer, and he released a succession of new albums between 2004 and 2006, including the three part Aerial series.
More recently, Dockstader had work reissued by the Mordant Music label, who paired him with contemporary remixers such as Ekoplekz.
Dockstader’s death was confirmed by Justin H Brierley, who is working on a documentary about the composer, titled Unlocking Dockstader.
“This evening my dear friend and musical inspiration, Tod Dockstader passed away”, Brierley writes.
“He was at peace and we were listening to his music at the time. May your spirit and music always float among the radio waves you were so fond of.”
For more on Dockstader, read this Wired interview from 2012.