Wendy Carlos

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Wendy Carlos
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Composer Wendy Carlos spurred electronic music to new commercial heights during the late '60s, popularizing the synthesizer with the enormously successful Switched-On Bach album. Born in Pawtucket, RI, on November 14, 1939, Carlos pursued her M.A. in composition under Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening at Columbia University's famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Following her graduation, she moved to Manhattan, where she found work as a recording engineer. In Manhattan, she met Dr. Robert Moog and, not long afterward, she began playing the Moog synthesizer. She helped Bob Moog to create a touch-sensitive keyboard and in the development of the vocoder.

Carlos released her 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 introduced the vocoder -- an electronic device designed to synthesize the human voice. After 1976's Brandenburg Concertos 3-5, Carlos and longtime collaborator, Rachel Elkind, wrote the score for Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining. Two years later, she wrote music for Tron, Disney's action movie about video games. Subsequent efforts include a spoof of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" (recorded with "Weird Al" Yankovic) and Switched-On Bach 2000.
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Albums

160259/60 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Brandenburgs album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Brandenburgs (Comp, Album) CBS 160259/60 Brazil 1980 Sell This Version
MS 7194 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Bach album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach (Album) Columbia Masterworks MS 7194 US 1981 Sell This Version
CBS 70223 Wendy Carlos - Tron (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album art Wendy Carlos Tron (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) CBS CBS 70223 UK 1982 Sell This Version
MK 39340 Wendy Carlos - Digital Moonscapes album art Wendy Carlos Digital Moonscapes (Album) CBS Masterworks MK 39340 Canada 1984 Sell This Version
60.636 Wendy Carlos Música De La Película "Naranja Mecánica" (Album) CBS 60.636 Argentina 1985 Sell This Version
SYN 200 Wendy Carlos - Beauty In The Beast album art Wendy Carlos Beauty In The Beast (Album) Audion Recording Co SYN 200 US 1986 Sell This Version
FMT 42333 Wendy Carlos - Secrets Of Synthesis album art Wendy Carlos Secrets Of Synthesis (Album) CBS, FM (3) FMT 42333 US 1987 Sell This Version
HAL 45951 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Brandenburgs, Vol. II album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Brandenburgs, Vol. II (Comp, Album) CBS Masterworks HAL 45951 US 1987 Sell This Version
MK 44567 Wendy Carlos - Peter & The Wolf / Carnival Of The Animals - Part II album art "Weird Al" YankovicWendy Carlos "Weird Al" YankovicWendy Carlos - Peter & The Wolf / Carnival Of The Animals - Part II (Album) CBS, FM (3) MK 44567 US 1988 Sell This Version
CD-80323 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Bach 2000 album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach 2000 (Album) Telarc CD-80323 US 1992 Sell This Version
ESD 81372 Wendy Carlos - Sonic Seasonings + album art Wendy Carlos Sonic Seasonings +(2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM) East Side Digital ESD 81372 US 1998 Sell This Version
ESD 81352 Wendy Carlos - Tales Of Heaven And Hell album art Wendy Carlos Tales Of Heaven And Hell(CD, Album, Enh) East Side Digital ESD 81352 US 1998 Sell This Version
ESD 81612 Wendy Carlos - The Well-Tempered Synthesizer album art Wendy Carlos The Well-Tempered Synthesizer(CD, Album, Enh) East Side Digital ESD 81612 US 2001 Sell This Version
ESD 81622 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Bach II album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach II (Album) East Side Digital ESD 81622 US 2002 Sell This Version
esd 81692 Wendy Carlos - By Request album art Wendy Carlos By Request (Album) East Side Digital esd 81692 US 2003 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

AE7 1530 Wendy Carlos - Only Solutions / Theme From “Tron” album art Journey / Wendy Carlos Journey / Wendy Carlos - Only Solutions / Theme From “Tron” (Single) CBS AE7 1530 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
none Wendy Carlos - Computer Music Journal Sound Examples album art Wendy Carlos Computer Music Journal Sound Examples(Flexi, 7", S/Sided) Computer Music Journal none US Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

CBS 74110 Wendy Carlos - The Best Of Carlos album art Carlos* The Best Of Carlos (Comp) CBS CBS 74110 UK 1983 Sell This Version
MGT 39013 Wendy Carlos - The Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach Album album art Bach*, Wendy Carlos Bach*, Wendy Carlos - The Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach Album (Comp) CBS Masterworks MGT 39013 US 1984 Sell This Version
ESD PRO BOX Wendy Carlos - Switched-on Boxed Set Highlights album art Wendy Carlos Switched-on Boxed Set Highlights(CD, Comp, Promo) East Side Digital ESD PRO BOX US 1999 Sell This Version
ESD 81422 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Boxed Set album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Boxed Set(CD, Album, RE + CD, Album, RE + CD, Album, RE + CD) East Side Digital ESD 81422 US 1999 Sell This Version
ESD81752, ESD 81752 Wendy Carlos - Rediscovering Lost Scores - Volume One  (Quintessential Archeomusicology – Film Music By Wendy Carlos) album art Wendy Carlos Rediscovering Lost Scores - Volume One (Quintessential Archeomusicology – Film Music By Wendy Carlos) (Comp) East Side Digital, East Side Digital ESD81752, ESD 81752 US 2005 Sell This Version
ESD81762, ESD 81762 Wendy Carlos - Rediscovering Lost Scores - Volume Two (Quintessential Archeomusicology – Film Music By Wendy Carlos) album art Wendy Carlos Rediscovering Lost Scores - Volume Two (Quintessential Archeomusicology – Film Music By Wendy Carlos)(CD, Comp) East Side Digital, East Side Digital ESD81762, ESD 81762 US 2005 Sell This Version
none Wendy Carlos - The Shining (Music From The Motion Picture) album art Rachel Elkind & Wendy Carlos Rachel Elkind & Wendy Carlos - The Shining (Music From The Motion Picture) (Comp, Single) Death Waltz Recording Company, WaterTower Music none 2020 Sell This Version
SOCL-208 Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Brandenburg (Brandenburg Concertos Nos.3,4&5) album art Wendy Carlos Switched-On Brandenburg (Brandenburg Concertos Nos.3,4&5)(LP, Comp) CBS/Sony SOCL-208 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

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irenebullock

irenebullock

July 22, 2021
edited about 1 month ago
In her Columbia/CBS years, she's an absolute master of the modulars without exaggeration; every inch of all possible electronic realisations, compositions and everything can be traced back to none other than her. Some find her synths to be very clinical and robotic, but I think it's the primitiveness of the synth and the constant shift of the timbres (hocketing in her own words) and the constriction to just purely a synth (no way you'll find a drum machine or easy listening type ensemble here) that appeals to and interests some listeners.

BUT after listening to Digital Moonscapes... Beauty in the Beast and Secrets of Synthesis, it is apparent that even when she's experimenting with things beyond subtractive synthesis and modulars, she's hit a home run at the ball park and dared to defy her fame as the catalyst of novelty Moog records. Look beyond the Switched on Bach Grammys and you'll find a great gem of knowledge.
Dion_jh

Dion_jh

June 9, 2021
Why are the release years messed up???? The release year is the original year the production appeared, and not some reissue date afterwards.
larry.gibson.522

larry.gibson.522

October 18, 2014
I'm a Walter/Wendy Carlos music lover. Have nearly all the albums shown on this current list. Pardon me, but shouldn't the soundtrack to "The Shining" be on there? Wendy Carlos performed the excellent title track to that movie.

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