Dolden, Paul

 Dolden, Paul. Composer, b Ottawa 23 Jan 1956; BA (Simon Fraser) 1981, MA (Simon Fraser) 1985. He studied composition and electroacoustic music at Simon Fraser University with Barry Truax, Martin Bartlett, and Owen Underhill. He has received grants from the Canada Council and awards from CAPAC, the CBC National Radio Competition, Concordia University, PRO Canada, the Luigi Russolo International Competition (Italy), and others. Dolden won first prize in the electroacoustic category at the Bourges International Festival (France) in 1986, 1988, and 1990. He has received commissions from the Vancouver New Music Society, the Groupe de Musique Experimental de Bourges, CKLN-FM radio, and Trevor Tureski. He has released two cassettes of his works, Sonarchy I (Underwhich Audiographics No. 26) and Sonarchy II (Underwhich Audiographics No. 36), and one compact disc, The Threshold of Deafening Science (Tronia Disc TRD-0190).

Having spent many years as a rock musician Dolden brings a concern with the visceral physicality of this form to the realm of tape composition. Often criticized for the extremely loud playback levels at his concerts, the composer explains that '... the listener is completely engulfed in sound. This high volume is important for conveying the content of my work in a direct, physical and emotional way which excites the whole person. This infectious super excitation is meant to be experienced on an overwhelming, almost transcendental plane' (Dolden, ' Veils, the composition: artistic and aeesthetic considerations,' manuscript, 1984). On a compositional level Dolden has explored the possibilities presented by technology for acoustic research and development. His studies in psychoacoustics led to the rejection of synthetic sound as being too simplistic and pure to be interesting to the human ear, which is used to the complexity of acoustic sound sources. Dolden has used digital recording technology to layer hundreds of tracks of instrumental sound to create combinations and densities not otherwise possible in the concert hall (eg, an orchestra of 200 pianos changing to 200 flutes in Veils: Studies in Textural Transformations). He has also explored microtonal tunings, sometimes using chords of up to 100 different pitches, thus challenging the audience to find new ways of listening by presenting totally 'natural' sounds in ways never heard before.

Dolden was living in Vancouver in 1991. He is a member of the CLComp and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Compositions

Chiaroscuro. 1982. Tape. Underwich Audiographics No. 26 (cass)

Chiaroscuro II. 1982-3. Pf, tape. Underwich Audiographics No. 26 (cass)

The Melting Voice Through Mazes Running. 1984, rev 1990. Tape. (1984) Underwich Audiographics No. 26 and No. 36 (cass)/(1990) Tronia Disc TRD-0190 (CD)

Veils: Studies in Textural Transformations. 1985. Tape. Underwich Audiographics No. 26 and No. 36 (cass)

In the Natural Doorway I Crouch. 1987, rev 1990. Tape. (1987) 2-Le Chant du Monde LDC-278046-7 (CD)/(1990) Tronia Disc TRD-0190 (CD)

Measured Opalescence. 1987. Pf and/or percussion, tape. Ms. Underwich Audiographics No. 36

Luminous Hysteresis. 1987. Perc, tape. Ms

Caught in an Octagon of Unaccustomed Light. 1988, rev 1990. Tape. (1988) Underwich Audiographics No. 36/(1990) Tronia Disc TRD-0190

Below the Walls of Jericho. 1989. Tape. Tronia Disc TRD-0190/ACM 37 (CD)/2-Le Chant du Monde LCD-278051-2

Dancing on the Walls of Jericho. 1990. Tape