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Thread: Wendy Carlos Turns 80

  1. #26
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    I think it's sad, whenever any discussion of Wendy Carlos comes up(anywhere, not specifically this thread), the discussion morphs into her transformation and gender status, rather than her talent and music.
    It's like there's an * along her music. It should just be...Wendy Carlos....and then something about her art.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  2. #27
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Agree 1000%

  3. #28
    Lucky Man
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    Can't do without Sonic Seasonings in my life. The local college FM radio station played it very often when I was still in my formative stages.

    Even with vertigo inducing Summer, I have to have it.
    Perhaps finding the happy medium is harder than we know.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I think it's sad, whenever any discussion of Wendy Carlos comes up(anywhere, not specifically this thread), the discussion morphs into her transformation and gender status, rather than her talent and music.
    It's like there's an * along her music. It should just be...Wendy Carlos....and then something about her art.
    It's human nature,like when people talk about Dolly Parton.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    It's human nature,like when people talk about Dolly Parton.
    Sure, it’s human nature, but, as the song says, “It doesn’t mean you should, just because you can.”
    In the interview posted in the OP, Wendy calls herself a ‘pioneer’ in music. And, over time, and contrasted with the evolution of the synthesizer, the recordings are still fresh to these ears, God bless her.
    In the coarse of the interview she also says to her cat, “You don’t have to do that, honey.” I’d like to think that that is demonstrative of her attitude towards the ongoing focus on her personal life.

  6. #31
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I'd like to turn to Wendy's music, with a question for perhaps you John Diliberto.

    We know Wendy wrote several electronic pieces at Columbia-Princeton, pre-Moog.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Carlos wrote several compositions as a student. Two were recorded and released on By Request (1975), titled "Dialogues for Piano and Two Loudspeakers" (1963) and "Episodes for Piano and Electronic Sound" (1964). Others include "Variations for Flute and Electronic Sounds" (1964), "Episodes for Piano and Tape" (1964), "Pomposities for Narrator and Tape" (1965), and "Noah" (1965), an opera blending electronics with an orchestra. Her first commercial release was Moog 900 Series – Electronic Music Systems, an introduction to the technical aspects of the Moog synthesizer released in 1967.[10] Part of her compensation for making the recording was in Moog equipment.[7]
    Has any of this pre-synthesizer music -- beside the two tracks from "By Request" -- been recorded or turned up anywhere? I mean, in order to "write" an electronic piece at C-P it had to be put down on tape, right? So in theory, at least, Carlos may have copies of enough pre-SOB work to fill an album.

    [Edit: "Variations for Flute & Electronic Sound" was released here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbVWk8P7TDw]
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 11-23-2019 at 11:37 AM.

  7. #32
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    We know Wendy wrote several electronic pieces at Columbia-Princeton, pre-Moog.Has any of this pre-synthesizer music -- beside the two tracks from "By Request" -- been recorded or turned up anywhere? I mean, in order to "write" an electronic piece at C-P it had to be put down on tape, right? So in theory, at least, Carlos may have copies of enough pre-SOB work to fill an album.
    I have an LP on the Turnabout label that includes the four-minute "Variations for Flute and Electronic Sound" as well as the "Dialogues for Piano and Two Loudspeakers" released on By Request, plus music by Mimaroglu, Avni, and Lewin-Richter.

  8. #33
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yes, I discovered that. Downloaded a copy at iTunes for $5.99. Yay.

    That still leaves several student works unaccounted for. Sadly, the consensus seems to be that Carlos "no longer acknowledges" them or has disavowed them as musical deadends. I, for one, would still like to hear them. The three pieces that HAVE been released are all pretty danged interesting, to these ears.

    Whoa. Here's another one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhgTTav21oI
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 11-23-2019 at 12:33 PM.

  9. #34
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The musical examples Carlos demonstrates at the end of the Moog 900 Series Demo Album presage "Sonic Seasonings" by five years. Although fragmentary, her sketches show she was already well ahead of the field even in 1967.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I think it's sad, whenever any discussion of Wendy Carlos comes up(anywhere, not specifically this thread), the discussion morphs into her transformation and gender status, rather than her talent and music.
    It's like there's an * along her music. It should just be...Wendy Carlos....and then something about her art.
    Yeah, there's a lot of artists like that. You can't talk about the music, you have to talk about all this other stuff that has nothing to do with the music. And I agree it's obnoxious.

  11. #36
    Who owns her music now? Can CBS/Columbia still release them? Or maybe let Analogue Productions have a go at them - I do have the Switched-On-Box (which I am very glad I got) and the old vinyl - fortunately, they are very affordable so I have been able to hunt for that perfect copy - but also... well, is not a great sign. I mean, this is stuff that is not available digitally right now... and yet the OG vinyl is cheap... do not seem like candidate for the deluxe re-release treatment...

    ah well

    v

  12. #37
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmartell View Post
    Who owns her music now?
    Her masters are owned by a company called Serendip LLC, which apparently sues you if you say her name three times.

  13. #38
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmartell View Post
    Who owns her music now? Can CBS/Columbia still release them?
    Didn't Wendy buy back all her masters? Serendip LLC is probably Wendy herself. A letter from Serendip was signed "A. Franklin," which would be Annemarie Franklin, Wendy's business partner.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits
    Her masters are owned by a company called Serendip LLC, which apparently sues you if you say her name three times.
    Yeah. The WRONG name.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 11-25-2019 at 08:56 AM.

  14. #39
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    ... which apparently sues you if you say her name three times.
    The article linked above is from 2008. All of these lawsuits and attempts to remove Wendy's music, album covers and name from the internet date from about that time or before.

    Shortly after that, in 2009, is when she stopped updating her website and went to ground.

    Sounds like she and Annemarie gave up trying to police the internet (as evidenced by the current availability of some of her student works), said "fuck it," and withdrew from public life. All thanks to the insensitive clods that made it so painful for her.

  15. #40
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The article linked above is from 2008. All of these lawsuits and attempts to remove Wendy's music, album covers and name from the internet date from about that time or before.
    Here's one from 2016.

    https://www.courthousenews.com/wendy...-on-her-music/

  16. #41
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    I've checked both links above and now I feel both perplexed and shocked by what I have learned. I didn't know it was W**** C***** herself who locked all her work and made it deliberately unavailable to the public and fans (or the posterity). This is quite disturbing and whatever (presumably good) reasons she might have acting this way this is beyond me... Anger ? Trauma ? or both ? I'm no psychologist but this kind of self-erasing mediatic suicide is not a good sign. This is way beyond standard copyright infringements management. Once again, this is VERY sad...
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 11-25-2019 at 04:07 PM.

  17. #42
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I'm not sure it's a "self-erasing mediatic suicide"... she's been cracking down on counterfeit goods. She's been protecting her copyrights & trademarks (which you have to do to maintain them). She's been lashing out at boneheads who say hurtful thinks about her.

    Right now, she's between labels and between distributors. Has been for a decade. Unless she's willing to start a label herself -- or turn to Bandcamp -- her material remains available only on the resale market. And it's pricey because of that.

    But "mediatic suicide"? Nah. That's overstating it.

    I know kids these days think everything should be free, but Wendy owns and controls and created and is justifiably proud of her legacy, so I fully support her efforts to keep everything from falling into the public domain.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 11-25-2019 at 04:15 PM.

  18. #43
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I'm not sure it's a "self-erasing mediatic suicide"... she's been cracking down on counterfeit goods. She's been protecting her copyrights & trademarks (which you have to do to maintain them). She's been lashing out at boneheads who say hurtful thinks about her.

    Right now, she's between labels and between distributors. Has been for a decade. Unless she's willing to start a label herself -- or turn to Bandcamp -- her material remains available only on the resale market. And it's pricey because of that.

    But "mediatic suicide"? Nah.
    Her actions (as recorded) are way beyond standard copyright management practices... looks she's working hard trying to erase/block anything anywhere related to her past image and artistic work. That's what I would call a "mediatic suicide", didn't found a better way to describe it. And chasing people for selling (legit, NOT counterfeit !) records of her works on EBay because they are using pictures of the original (copyrighted) sleeves is just... insane. (especially if you consider that second-hand market is currently the ONLY way to have access to her recorded works).
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 11-25-2019 at 04:40 PM.

  19. #44
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Fair enough. Maybe she got some bad legal advice

  20. #45
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    New biography of Wendy Carlos will be published in April 2020.

    New biography of electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos

    Wendy Carlos: A Biography
    if you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you is brother you have to wait

  21. #46

  22. #47
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Snap it up while you can. It appears to be unauthorized -- as evidenced by the emphasis on Carlos's "transgender status" instead of her music -- and as such it's likely Serendip LLC will attempt to block publication next April.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Snap it up while you can. It appears to be unauthorized -- as evidenced by the emphasis on Carlos's "transgender status" instead of her music -- and as such it's likely Serendip LLC will attempt to block publication next April.
    That's the problem with once coming out as transgender. You will always be considered being one.
    On one hand it is good if people come out, because they can serve as a role-model for others in the same position.
    On the other hand it might overshadow everything else one has done.

    In hindsight it would probably have been better if she had started releasing her music as Wendy Carlos even if she was just at the start of her transition. Even then it might have come in the publicity. Look at a Dutch vlogger Nikkie Tutorial, who has been forced to come out by some idiots, who treated to blackmail her. She has always posted videos as a girl, so she might as well never have come out.

    Dee Palmer will always be associated with David Palmer. It's hard to forget about that one.

    And of course her transition will be a part of the biography of Wendy Carlos. But her pioneering work with synthesizers is also mentioned. A publisher will mention the aspects that would raise the most publicity and sells most books.

  24. #49
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Yeah. The WRONG name.
    didn't Carlos release albums under the name Walter?
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  25. #50
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    didn't Carlos release albums under the name Walter?
    Yes, Carlos released four or five albums post-transition (depending on whether you date the “transition” from her hormone treatments (1968) or her surgery (May 1972)).

    1969 The Well Tempered Synthesizer
    1972 Sonic Seasonings
    1972 Walter Carlos’ Clockwork Orange
    1973 Switched On Bach II
    1975 Walter Carlos By Request

    In 1979 Carlos went public in the Playboy interview.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-17-2020 at 10:46 PM.

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