Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The sound of Quatermass

More Nigel Kneale musings on foot of yesterday’s Stone Tape post… This morning I’ve been listening to Tod Dockstader’s Quatermass LP, a suite of music the great American sound sculptor completed in 1964. In the liner notes of the Starkland re-issue, Dockstader admits that he hadn’t seen either of the first two Quatermass films at the time (referring to them under their US titles The Creeping Unknown and Enemy From Space) but Professor Bernard Quatermass’ name struck a chord and became the title of the suite. Still it’s a remarkably intuitive work, the album’s dark, ominous soundscapes would have been the perfect accompaniment to the films, so much so we might have been discussing Dockstader’s work in the same breath as Bebe and Louis Barron’s music for Forbidden Planet or Gil Mellé for The Andromeda Strain. As a remedy of sorts I’m planning on reading the four Quatermass books (Kneale’s original screenplays for the first three Quatermass installments plus the 1979 TV novelization) with Dockstader’s album as one of the reading soundtracks. I’d highly recommend curious listeners check out the 2012 Starkland CD which includes the album plus some additional recordings and in the meantime, you can download and listen to the original 46min album here

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