From her groundbreaking first album Switched-On Bach (1968) to the unforgettable soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and Tron (1982), Wendy Carlos is a living legend of electronic music. In March, Oxford University Press will publish Wendy Carlos: A Biography, written by musicologist Amanda Sewel, musical director of Interlochen Public Radio. From the book description:
With her debut album Switched-On Bach, composer and electronic musician Wendy Carlos (b. 1939) brought the sound of the Moog synthesizer to a generation of listeners, helping to effect arguably one of the most substantial changes in popular music's sound since musicians began using amplifiers. Her story is not only one of a person who blazed new trails in electronic music for decades but is also the story of a person who intersected in many ways with American popular culture, medicine, and social trends during the second half of the 20th century and well into the 21st. There is much to tell about her life and about the ways in which her life reflects many dimensions of American culture.
Carlos's identity as a transgender woman has shaped many aspects of her life, her career, how she relates to the public, and how the public has received her and her music. Cultural factors surrounding the treatment of transgender people affected many of the decisions that Carlos has made over the decades. Additionally, cultural reception and perception of transgender people has colored how journalists, scholars, and fans have written about Carlos and her music for decades.
Wendy Carlos: A Biography (Amazon)
“Justify My Love” is a 1990 trip-hop tune by Lenny Kravitz and Ingrid Chavez with spoken vocals by Madonna and soulful humming and moaning by Kravitz. Someone mixed a version of the track sans Madonna and with Kravitz’s backing vocals brought to the forefront. The above sounds like a compelling piece of “outsider pop,” as […]
In this video, Claude Debussy’s Clair de Line is presented on a modular synthesizer. The accompanying Haiku says all: from the modular, a landscape a wee sterile, just a reflection ~ The performer is ann annie, who can be found on Instagram and Bandcamp. There are only a few other recordings on YouTube, but they’re […]
The great David J, bassist for Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, is playing two intimate concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, tonight (2/18) at Santa Rosa’s Lost Church and 2/21 at San Francisco’s Lost Church. Buy tickets here. I’ve seen David play solo several times and it’s always a lovely, witty, and rousing evening […]
It may not rank up there with climate change or personal debt, but confess…isn’t it the worst when you’re trying to put a food container in the fridge, but can’t find the right lid to fit? Hey, not everything has to be a global crisis to be irritating to the core. But still…it’s even more […]
Assembling a truly autonomous smart home is getting closer and closer to reality every day. But for every new smart bulb, thermostat, home security system and appliance we set loose within our walls, there are still probably a half dozen “dumb” items we’d still love to replace. But whether they’re too costly or too big […]
With so many manufacturers out there these days, it’s tough to know who to trust in the ultra-competitive wireless earbuds market. If you’ve never heard of LinearFlux, you may soon. That’s because it’s a company with a stellar pedigree whose co-founders were two of the engineers behind the original success of two audio houses you […]