New biography of electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos

Originally published at:


The one, that sticks most is the Shining intro - the one with the helicopter shots of the Rockies, mixed with Wendy’s creepy/awesome music mix. It’s the dark side version of the ‘Sound of Music’ intro.


Awesome! I’m going to read this one. She’s one of my favorites.

Fun fact: Wendy Carlos collaborated with Weird Al on an album!

You can get the whole album from the Internet Archive:


She truly is a pioneer. My junior high music teacher taught us about her when I was probably 13 or 14. It’s difficult to imagine Clockwork Orange without her soundtrack. I might need to watch that this weekend, it’s been a while. Now, should it be before or after I listen to TMBG’s Flood…


I’m a big fan of electronic music from that era. I’m fascinated by the things that Carlos and her contemporaries like Kraftwerk, Moroder, and others were able to do with the kind of limited technology they had at the time. I remember being blown away by the soundtrack of Clockwork Orange from the very first note the first time I saw it.


She’s so great! I actually feel like my music teacher may have shown us this very video, when we got the Wendy Carlos/electronic music lesson back in jr. high. :slight_smile:


When I was a kid I always thought that this guy did the switched-on Bach album. It never occurred to me that he was a model, lol.

From Wikipedia: Carlos and Elkind objected to the original cover and had it replaced, finding it “was a clownish, trivializing image of a mugging Bach, supposedly hearing some absurd sound from his earphones”. They also objected to the fact that the synthesizer was incorrectly set up: “[The earphones] were plugged into the input, not output, of a 914 filter module, which in turn was connected to nothing, [assuring] that silence is all that would have greeted Johann Sebastian’s ears.”


Kudo’s for boingboing for highlighting this.
She is one of the true pioneers of electronic music.

/now do Delia Derbyshire (of BBC…Dr. Who…and invented ‘electronic dance music’ sortof. )


The intro (especially) reminds me of Jethro Tull’s The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles from A Passion Play. For some reason, I like the role the Owl (scowling!) plays in the story:

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Carlos is a genius of our time and deserves a permanent place in history for her accomplishments.

One of my faves

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