Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Ep. 163: MusicWorks – The Starkland Story

Tom Steenland is the one-man-DIY-band behind the most punk rock of classical music labels, Starkland Records. Hear the story of Starkland, plus some incredible music.

Tom Steenland of Starkland Records
Tom Steenland of Starkland Records

It all started because Tom Steenland really dug the music of composer Tod Dockstader. He wanted the rest of the world to hear it, too. And so began the (thus far) 25-year DIY project born out of Steenland’s passion for innovative sound that is Starkland Records, a label that specializes in experimental music, alternative classical, and the avant-garde. Since the label started in 1991 (AKA, the Year Punk Broke), Steenland has almost single-handedly propelled Starkland’s motor, doing the bulk of the work for the label himself, including the minutiae like graphic design. And, to top all of that, Starkland is a non-profit label and has worked directly with nearly 100 composers. Learn about this unicorn among labels in our Classical Classroom MusicWorks story.

Music in this episode from Starkland, including music by Tod Dockstader, Phillip Bimstein, and more.

Audio production by Todd “Dockstader” Hulslander with robot sounds from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. Thanks muchly to composer George Heathco for the use of his music in our MusicWorks intro!