American composer of electronic music and musique concrète, Tod Dockstader, was born on 20 March 1932 in St Paul, Minnesota. He studied painting and film at the University of Minnesota, then moved to Hollywood in 1955 to train as a film editor, later becoming a sound engineer at Gotham Recording Studios, where he first started composing, mostly using tape manipulation effects.
He achieved modest success with several albums released during the first half of the 1960s, but then Gotham Studios was shut down, his applications to other studios were rejected because of his lack of academic background in composition, and so he no longer had access to recording facilities. He moved instead into audio-visual work, making school filmstrips and videos.
In the 1990s, most of his music was re-released, bringing Dockstader's compositions new acclaim, and he returned to composition the following decade, but working with computers instead of tapes.
Tod Dockstader died in Arlington, Massachusetts, on 27 February 2015, aged eighty-two.