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Sat Nov 14, 2020, 03:18 PM

Happy 81st birthday, Wendy Carlos!




- from a 1989 BBC documentary (when she was age 50)

http://www.wendycarlos.com/

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Reply Happy 81st birthday, Wendy Carlos! (Original post)
klook Nov 2020 OP
klook Nov 2020 #1
Doc_Technical Nov 2020 #2

Response to klook (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2020, 03:31 PM

1. 'She made music jump into 3D': Wendy Carlos, the reclusive synth genius (The Guardian)

'She made music jump into 3D': Wendy Carlos, the reclusive synth genius
- The Guardian, Nov. 11, 2020
excerpt from the article:
Carlos’s high standards and industrious work ethic began in her childhood. Born in 1939 into a working-class Rhode Island family, her music-loving parents couldn’t afford a piano: her father drew a keyboard on paper so she could practise between lessons. She built a hi-fi system for her parents by cutting wood and soldering wire and won a science contest at 14 by inventing a computer. She then made her first tape machine for music-making, after falling in love with the early electronic music of Pierre Henry and Bebe Barron.

By the time she found Robert Moog napping on a banquette at a New York audio conference in 1964, she was a music and physics graduate of Brown and Columbia. Moog soaked up her suggestions for sound filter banks and pitch-sliding controls, which became original features of his synthesiser; Carlos also wanted a touch-sensitive keyboard, not standard on the instrument until the late 1970s.

Then came Switched-On Bach, thanks to another influential friend, Rachel Elkind, secretary to Columbia Records’ boss Goddard Lieberson: Columbia was running an album sales campaign called Bach to Rock, and Elkind thought her friend could make a record that fitted the brief. Columbia wasn’t keen on Carlos’s ambitious collection of Moog reimaginings of the classical composer’s works, and in expectation of poor sales, offered her a low advance and a high royalty deal. Switched-On Bach topped the US classical charts for the next three years.

Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory first heard the album on Radio 3 as a child around the time of its release; he regularly performs Carlos’s work in his Will Gregory Moog Ensemble. “Nothing for me lived up to that record,” he says. “It brought the synthesiser into the mainstream as an expressive instrument, not just a sci-fi effects machine.” Carlos’s compositional skills were key, he explains: she created radically different sounds to help delineate Bach’s intricate melodies and expanded the 20-second Adagio movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3 to nearly three minutes. “The original’s just based on a cadence, but Wendy set up these otherworldly sounds in the first movement, then in the second, the gloves just come off! She made the music jump into 3D.”

Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon, composers of the Stranger Things soundtrack, discovered Switched-On Bach in the early 2000s. It connected with their world, Dixon says. Radiohead’s Kid A and Warp Records compilations were popularising experimental electronica and file-sharing services such as Napster encouraged the trading of unusual albums. “Then I started reading about Wendy, and finding out all these tricks, like five was the magic number of oscillators,” Stein adds. “She taught me to dig deeply into the instrument. She was a magician like that.”

more at link: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/11/she-made-music-jump-into-3d-wendy-carlos-the-reclusive-synth-genius

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Response to klook (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2020, 11:21 PM

2. A clockwork Orange Theme

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