Wendy (Walter) Carlos

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Wendy (Walter) Carlos  —  A pioneer of electronic synthesised music and creator of Switched On Bach

Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos, November 14, 1939) is an American musician and composer best known for her electronic music and film scores.  Born and raised in Rhode Island, Wendy Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University.  Studying and working with various electronic musicians and technicians at the city's Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, she helped in the development of the Moog synthesizer, Robert Moog's first commercially available keyboard instrument.  Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer, which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards.  Its commercial success led to several more albums, including further synthesized classical music adaptations, and experimental and ambient music.  She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films  —  A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980)  —  and Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.  In 1979, she raised public awareness of transgender issues by disclosing she had been living as a woman since at least 1968, and in 1972 had undergone sex reassignment surgery.  Much of her discography is out of print, and has not been licensed for digital distribution to streaming or download platforms.  She remains a true pioneer in her esoteric field.


The Audionics project

The Modular Moog Synthesiser


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Explaining the Moog on the BBC

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