Wendy Carlos

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A thread to celebrate the work of Wendy Carlos without any of the weird shit from 15 years ago on the thread. Have at it, Moog fans!

emil.y, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:02 (one month ago) link

Last bump on the other thread from Tom D:

Anyway, her music for The Shining is awesome, it's a scandal it's never been collected on a single release, as it is it's spread over two volumes of Rediscovering Lost Scores - which are, of course, impossible to find.

― Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Monday, August 3, 2020 3:34 PM

emil.y, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:03 (one month ago) link

I need to find a copy of Switched-On Bach as I’ve never heard it in full despite its being 1000% in my wheelhouse — It drives me crazy that her music isn’t on streaming services! She’s such a tremendous influence but it feels like she’s being erased from cultural memory what with all the barriers to access her work

trapped out the barndo (crüt), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:07 (one month ago) link

(xp) Good idea.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:08 (one month ago) link

I believe some of those barriers are down to her being kind of prickly to deal with and extremely protective of her music, but she's been more or less a recluse for a while now so who knows for sure what's going on?

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:11 (one month ago) link

Excellent idea, emil.y

peace, man, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:25 (one month ago) link

The first three commercial sales of the moog keyboard were sold to Buck Owens, Micky Dolenz and Wendy Carlos. Going to blast out Beauty in the Beast when I get home.

calzino, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:32 (one month ago) link

So I never knew about this - Wendy Carlos: A Biography. But Geeta did - http://4columns.org/dayal-geeta/wendy-carlos

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:45 (one month ago) link

As someone who obsessed over the sound of Douglas Rain's voice as HAL in 2001 for decades, I will forever be indebted to Wendy for this amazing bit of info on her website -


Maresn3st, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:52 (one month ago) link

I used to own the early 2000s reissue of xpost Switched On Bach, on ESD, East Side Digital; who also did some other early Carlos albums: really good sound, and I ended up putting it in my P&J Top Ten. It's worth looking for!

dow, Monday, 3 August 2020 17:21 (one month ago) link


nice little vintage interview on the beeb in Greenwich Village studio with loads of gear and cats!

calzino, Monday, 3 August 2020 17:49 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

put on Sonic Seasonings for the first time in over ten years last night, easy to forget sometimes just how much this record shaped me over thirty years ago. even now listening to it I can't reverse engineer it; mainly, the lead melody patch on the moog in the opening movement is so ridiculously expressive, I can't even wrap my head around how perfectly beautiful and technically accomplished it is -- I'd give anything to see video of how complex the patch is and the physical gestures involved in playing the glisses & trills & runs on a monophonic instrument like that... when I was a teenager, I just took it all for granted, but seeing as for the rest of the world was still getting blown away by absolute tinkertoy kludge like 'Lucky Man' or ELP, and she and Rachel are already constructing peerless alien bird-flute patches like this that people have simply not caught up to even now

ten years we tried to reach her to get the quadraphonic version for a playback at the Exploratorium, but the link fell through. I can only imagine the original quad version (the crazy insect-flight trajectories in Summer are still perceptible in the stereo-fold down). still holding out for that. she mentions an immanent release of the quad version in the liner notes to the CD, released in... 1998. for all the due she's gotten, still not enough

because so much of it is ambient / perfect sleeping music, my high school cassette only has the first half of Winter - I faded & added a long reverb tail before the wolf chorus & Rachel's vocalese, which would always, always wake me up, then put on the first movement of 'Digital Moonscapes'. the 2CD version is pretty perfect in putting the first three movements on its own disc, and opening disc two with Winter. the last half is even more intense now, it's still a crazy feeling each time I realize it's not fading, it's just getting started

Milton Parker, Sunday, 13 September 2020 21:56 (one week ago) link

fantastic post, Milton.

calzino, Sunday, 13 September 2020 22:36 (one week ago) link

put me on a kick to revisiting her post-Beauty and the Beast works. still a bit mixed on Tales of Heaven and Hell - like Moonscapes, the aim is realism over the unheard, but the last half of that last track -- pushing the digital orchestra through the circle of fifths, retuning itself with each modulation, so subtle you can barely tell it's acoustically impossible. Switched On Bach 2000, historical tunings, soaring & drilling, just try and resist. Lost Scores has moments but definitely more archival.

not like she even needs to do another, but one can always hope

Milton Parker, Monday, 14 September 2020 01:49 (one week ago) link

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