New Wendy Carlos biography

Discuss the music that you love to hear.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe.

User avatar
mburgh
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:15 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by mburgh » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am

Wendy Carlos and Mike Oldfield both experienced the worst thing that can happen to an artist: instant world-wide fame. No one who hasn't gone through this can understand how traumatic this experience can be to a sensitive person. Oldfield has mental issues and Carlos has gender identity issues. Both essentially withdrew after the massive success of their work. Those of you who discount Wendy Carlos's work don't realize that this forum would not exist without her and that any synthesizers would be locked into academic avant-garde composers instead of available everywhere from tiny Korgs, to Massive Moogs and everything in between. Wendy Carlos wants to be left alone after that brutal experience of Switched-On Bach devastating her privacy, her choices, her life. She wants to disappear, and that's her right. Personally, I have loved all her music, especially her early work. If you haven't listened to Sonic Seasonings, I suggest you find it and listen. Her work lives on in the great films of Stanley Kubrick too. My question to all of you is this: what have you done that even comes close to the world of synthesizers that Wendy Carlos opened?

User avatar
doombient.music
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1252
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: the city that doesn't exist, germany
Contact:

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by doombient.music » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:19 pm

I found myself listening to S-OB the other night (the Sony Gold Master CD, in that oblong box), and even though I find some of the performances a bit bland, and some of the timbres used a bit meh!, the final movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is still giving me shivers running up and down my spine.

I can very well relate to Bob Moog's report, that "people were jumping out of their skins" when they were listening to this for the first time.

The all-electronic score to A Clockwork Orange will always have a very warm place in my heart, too.

Stephen

User avatar
SynthBaron
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:43 am

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by SynthBaron » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:24 pm

mburgh wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am
Wendy Carlos and Mike Oldfield both experienced the worst thing that can happen to an artist: instant world-wide fame. No one who hasn't gone through this can understand how traumatic this experience can be to a sensitive person.
Not a lot of people know that she was actively trying to break into the meat grinder of the music industry with synth stuff before S-OB. Her main job at the time was being a recording engineer, so she had inside knowledge of what that business entails. There's a handful of recorded copyright entries for original Carlos pop songs we'll probably never hear, and we know she was actively trying to market synth covers of pop songs to record companies back in 1967 with What's New Pussycat and Cherish. One of her original pop songs actually gets released, but never goes anywhere:



And then she agrees to do the Bach album, after nobody really gets the synth pop stuff, because she's eventually convinced that it will be the most commercially successful. I think it's a little ridiculous to say she was too fragile for fame because she got exactly what she had been trying so hard to do at the time.
Last edited by SynthBaron on Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Licudi
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 928
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:43 pm

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by Licudi » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:27 pm

mburgh wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am
Those of you who discount Wendy Carlos's work don't realize that this forum would not exist without her and that any synthesizers would be locked into academic avant-garde composers instead of available everywhere from tiny Korgs, to Massive Moogs and everything in between.
Carlos’ importance is greatly overstated and all of the above is opinion not fact.

User avatar
doombient.music
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1252
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: the city that doesn't exist, germany
Contact:

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by doombient.music » Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:12 pm

SynthBaron wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:24 pm
[...] I think it's a little ridiculous to say she was too fragile for fame because she got exactly what she had been trying so hard to do at the time.
Always question what you're longing for -- you might get it eventually.

Wonderful example of psychedelia btw, thanks for the heads-up -- I wasn't aware of this little gem!

Stephen

User avatar
Fog Door
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 608
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:04 pm
Location: Down, down, down the dark ladder

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by Fog Door » Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:19 pm

Carlos’ importance is greatly overstated and all of the above is opinion not fact
As is your contention that her importance is overstated! :lol:

Licudi
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 928
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:43 pm

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by Licudi » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:01 pm

Fog Door wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:19 pm
Carlos’ importance is greatly overstated and all of the above is opinion not fact
As is your contention that her importance is overstated! :lol:
True. ;)

Rob_C
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 532
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: United States

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by Rob_C » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:07 pm

3hands wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:02 pm
We should rock a Wendy Carlos/Vince Clarke listening session! :)
Coming soon!

In this pre-Covid photo, Wendy Carlos and Vince Clarke (collaboratively known as Wenzoo) mix down their Hamilton-like crossover project Bach Street Boys.

Wenzoo.jpg

User avatar
3hands
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1954
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 pm
Location: Ottawa Ontario

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by 3hands » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:33 pm

Rob_C wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:07 pm
3hands wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:02 pm
We should rock a Wendy Carlos/Vince Clarke listening session! :)
Coming soon!

In this pre-Covid photo, Wendy Carlos and Vince Clarke (collaboratively known as Wenzoo) mix down their Hamilton-like crossover project Bach Street Boys.


Wenzoo.jpg

Finally!!!

Haha! That’s pure gold!!
Gum is fun, but not on a cat.

My minds an art gallery.

User avatar
Fog Door
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 608
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:04 pm
Location: Down, down, down the dark ladder

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by Fog Door » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:56 pm

Funny, but no doubt you will be hearing from Wendy's lawyers very soon :foul: ;) :lol:

User avatar
doombient.music
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1252
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: the city that doesn't exist, germany
Contact:

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by doombient.music » Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:00 am

SynthBaron wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:24 pm
mburgh wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am
Wendy Carlos and Mike Oldfield both experienced the worst thing that can happen to an artist: instant world-wide fame. No one who hasn't gone through this can understand how traumatic this experience can be to a sensitive person.
Not a lot of people know that she was actively trying to break into the meat grinder of the music industry with synth stuff before S-OB. Her main job at the time was being a recording engineer, so she had inside knowledge of what that business entails. There's a handful of recorded copyright entries for original Carlos pop songs we'll probably never hear, and we know she was actively trying to market synth covers of pop songs to record companies back in 1967 with What's New Pussycat and Cherish. One of her original pop songs actually gets released, but never goes anywhere:



And then she agrees to do the Bach album, after nobody really gets the synth pop stuff, because she's eventually convinced that it will be the most commercially successful. I think it's a little ridiculous to say she was too fragile for fame because she got exactly what she had been trying so hard to do at the time.
Having listened to this several times, I now know what it reminds me of: I'm sure The Dukes Of Stratosphear knew this one when recording 25 O' Clock.

Stephen

User avatar
SynthBaron
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:43 am

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by SynthBaron » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:40 am

doombient.music wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:00 am
SynthBaron wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:24 pm
mburgh wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am
Wendy Carlos and Mike Oldfield both experienced the worst thing that can happen to an artist: instant world-wide fame. No one who hasn't gone through this can understand how traumatic this experience can be to a sensitive person.
Not a lot of people know that she was actively trying to break into the meat grinder of the music industry with synth stuff before S-OB. Her main job at the time was being a recording engineer, so she had inside knowledge of what that business entails. There's a handful of recorded copyright entries for original Carlos pop songs we'll probably never hear, and we know she was actively trying to market synth covers of pop songs to record companies back in 1967 with What's New Pussycat and Cherish. One of her original pop songs actually gets released, but never goes anywhere:



And then she agrees to do the Bach album, after nobody really gets the synth pop stuff, because she's eventually convinced that it will be the most commercially successful. I think it's a little ridiculous to say she was too fragile for fame because she got exactly what she had been trying so hard to do at the time.
Having listened to this several times, I now know what it reminds me of: I'm sure The Dukes Of Stratosphear knew this one when recording 25 O' Clock.

Stephen
Wow, you're not joking. Both sides of this 45 would fit in just fine on that album.

User avatar
SynthBaron
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:43 am

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by SynthBaron » Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:24 pm

I finally finished reading it this morning.

My biggest takeaway from it as a whole is probably that it's a cautionary tale about getting caught up in obsessing too much over the details. Like spending thousand of hours getting lost in "too much" parameter control on digital synths, restoring her back catalog with too heavy a hand, the sound quality of digital music distribution, and how people talk about her life.

Her most appreciated body of work is probably always going to be when she was limited artistically by the use of 7 tracks on an 8 track tape recorder and a capricious Moog Modular.

User avatar
SynthBaron
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:43 am

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by SynthBaron » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:00 pm

Who knows how long this will stay up before it's pulled, but:


User avatar
subbasshead
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 749
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Wellingtron, New Zealand

Re: New Wendy Carlos biography

Post by subbasshead » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:05 am

mburgh wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:58 am
Wendy Carlos and Mike Oldfield both experienced the worst thing that can happen to an artist: instant world-wide fame. No one who hasn't gone through this can understand how traumatic this experience can be to a sensitive person.
Well said.
I thought 'public' issues for famous people was just par for the course, but I never imagined that included serious death threats, rape threats etc, until I read this post by (author/blogger/podcaster) Tim Ferris - skip to the section near the end: ON THE DARKER SIDE, SOME VERY REAL ISSUES

https://tim.blog/2020/02/02/reasons-to- ... me-famous/
Space is the breath of art

Post Reply

Return to “Artist Discussion”