Tod Dockstader / David Lee Myers

Pond

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Through the use of old-fashioned musique concrète techniques and advanced computer software, Tod Dockstader and David Lee Myers have generated an electro-acoustic rhapsody to swamp life, Pond. By taping the croaks of frogs and toads, and altering them electronically to achieve different sonorities and textures, Dockstader and Myers have concocted a strange brew of soundscapes that twitter, pulse, and glide with an eerie nocturnal ambiance. Outlined in the liner notes, the process of composing Pond may be as interesting as the piece itself; Dockstader and Myers encountered many difficulties in assembling it, not least the problems of recording sounds at night without running afoul of the law, collaborating long-distance, and working separately on problematic Macintosh and Windows PC programs. Through perseverance and meticulous care, however, they finally achieved an effective electronic piece that is highly varied in its colors and amazingly inventive for its limited source of material. If the composers may be criticized for anything, then it should be for mixing this only in stereo; the possibilities of surround-sound were considered, but rejected for dubious reasons. Pond clearly deserves a multichannel version, and if this CD is ever remixed, the results will be even more fascinating and compelling.

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