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Wendy Carlos

Composer Walter Carlos spurred electronic music to new commercial heights during the late 1960s, popularizing the synthesizer with the enormously successful Switched on Bach album. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on November 14, 1939, Carlos pursued his M.A. in composition under Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening at Columbia University's famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Following his graduation, he moved to Manhattan, where he found work as a recording engineer. In Manhattan, he met Dr. Robert Moog and, not long afterward, he began playing the Moog synthesizer. Carlos released his first recording, Switched-On Bach, in 1968. A showcase for the Moog synthesizer, Switched-On Bach interpreted the legendary composer's most renowned fugues and movements via state-of-the-art synth technology; purists were appalled, but the record captured the public's imagination and in time the album became the first classical record to be certified platinum by the RIAA. It also earned three Grammy Awards. A similar effort, The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, followed in 1969. In 1971, Carlos wrote the music for Stanley Kubrick's controversial film A Clockwork Orange, introducing the vocoder -- an electronic device designed to synthesize the human voice -- in his score. ~ All Music Guide, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Switched-On Bach

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Cantata No. 29, "Wir Danken Dir, Gott, Wir Danken Dir," Bwv 29 (Bc B8)
Composer: Wendy Carlos
Title: Initial Experiments
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Two-part Invention, For Keyboard No. 8 In F Major, Bwv 779 (Bc L49)
Title: Two-part Invention, For Keyboard No. 14 In B Flat Major, Bwv 785 (Bc L55)
Title: Two-part Invention, For Keyboard No. 4 In D Minor, Bwv 775 (Bc L45)
Title: Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
Title: Prelude and Fugue, for Keyboard No. 7 in E Flat Major (Wtc I/7), Bwv 852 (Bc L86)
Title: Prelude And Fugue, For Keyboard No. 2 In C Minor (Wtc I/2), Bwv 847 (Bc L81)
Title: Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme, Chorale Prelude For Organ, Bwv Anh. II 66 (Doubtful)
Title: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 In G Major, Bwv 1048

Comments

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Ew. If a person is born and created a man, they should stay that way.
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spellnorchar m
Actually, it's not a surgery that determines a trans person's gender, but how they identify. I'm not trans, and am certainly not qualified to explain trans issues here, but I am fairly certain that Wendy Carlos would not find this bio respectful.

For one thing, her website bio uses she pronouns for her entire life. She even lists the source for this blurb on a list of publications that she considers hurtful or inaccurate.

Go to Help, then Email Us if u want to send a message, BTW.
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Wendy started her life as Walter, thus rightly named he. After the sex change and name change, Wendy would be rightly named as she.
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For Pandora to run a bio referring to Wendy as Walter and he is very inappropriat e . I don't see a Contact button for sending them a message complaining about this.
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This is good, but it is different. It is not the same recording that is on the casette and LP from the 70's when she was still Walter. I still have the casette and I compared them.
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I totally agree on Sonic Seasonings and would love to hear it here. Also The Well-Tempere d Synthesizer. And how about Wendy Carlos by Request. I am happy to see Tomita listed as a similar artist. Sometimes this station throws in some soggy electronic soup, though. The thing I love about Wendy's music is the crisp intelligence , not the electronics.
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Someone mentioned Sonic Seasons - I was hoping to hear some of it which was one reason I made a Carlos station. My mother had it in the 70's but it seems pretty rare. I only vaguely remember it.
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Regarding some of these comments / questions about Wendy's appropriate gender pronoun usage according to point in her career and albums released under the name Walter, I am pretty sure her entire discography has been rereleased under the name Wendy now and from a trans standpoint, she was always a she. Actually, it's also the medical standpoint that she was always a she, if you go by the statements of the APA and AMA.
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adlq4
I wonder if she has white-out on her grammys with Wendy written over it?....
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desrosma
"Clockwork Black" is still on of my favorite records!
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Beauty in the Beast was my introduction to WC's music and to electronic music in general. For anyone wanting to go beyond the Moog, I recommend Morton Subotnick (they have his Silver Apples on the Moon here) who created all his early electronic music on the Buchla Music Box.
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bservary
Walter Carlos had a sex change operation in 1972 and changed her name to Wendy. Many of the recordings may be found under the name Walter Carlos. I keep noticing that Pandora shows the Clockwork Orange soundtrack under the name Wendy Carlos. This must be because the CD came out after the sex change operation. I wonder if that's true of all the CDs put out by this artist before the sex change? Curious.
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Fantastic collection of works; My favorite: "Everything you always wanted to know about the MOOG.* But were afraid to ask for."
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So where is Carlos' "A Well-Tempere d Synthesizer" ?
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We finally have switched-on Bach!!!! Check after October 27th!!!!
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Walter/Wendy has written an amazing body of music. Switched-On Bach and C'Work Orange being my fav's.

"Two years later, she wrote music for the Disney film Tron." Actually, she was still a "he" who wrote that music. No matter, the music has ALWAYS been superb.
Report as inappropriate
vllsr
Didn't she do "Sonic Seasons" under the name of Walter Carlos?
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ibsatan
Oh god, THANK you! Write again about Switched-On Bach- we're dying here!
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Actually, I wrote to them and suggested it.
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ibsatan
Amen, ben. I think they finally got tired of me searching for her.
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ben.sobow
Switched-On Bach was my introduction to synthesizer music (back when Wendy was still Walter.) and it's a love affair that's lasted for 40 years. I'm really glad Pandora has FINALLY gotten a bit of this great music; I'll be happier still when they have more than the Clockwork Orange album available.

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