The Well-Tempered Synthesizer by Wendy Carlos turns 50 years old this month. After demonstrating that synthesizers were Musical As Fuck with Switched-On Bach, her second album goes a step further, capturing the nuances of Handel and Scarlatti, and even having an admirable shot at vocal synthesis. Give it a listen!
For whatever reason, Wendy's entire back catalogue outside the Tron OST remains tragically unavailiable, but Archive Dot Org has us covered.
@ThreeLetterMax Her stuff is also floating around Torrent, natch. Pirate bay I think.
@Shufei Yeah. I once found her extended Clockwork Orange CD in Fopp years ago, but everything else I've only been able to find on soulseek. Charity shops with a decent vinyl selection aren't a bad place to go hunting though.
@ThreeLetterMax omg thank you, i needed this 💖
@ThreeLetterMax thank you so much for pointing out this is on archive.org, i've been trying to find a copy of that collab she did with weird al _forever_
@wijn right?! One of the most important figures in electronic music history and her entire catalogue is an absolute bastard to find. It's a real shame.
@ThreeLetterMax yup. the only thing I had of hers was a vinyl copy of Switched-On Bach I just randomly found in a junk store one day.
@wijn nice. Was it the terrible cursed version of the album cover where the Bach model is sat down, making a silly face and wearing a pair of headphones plugged into the INPUT of a random module? Because if I can ever find a vinyl copy that's the one I would go for.
@wijn Oooh, a copy for radio stations? Don't think I've seen a variant like that before. Dang, how many different versions of this one album ARE there out there?
@ThreeLetterMax It's a sticker on the front, but it's always neat to find these sort of variations when grabbing records. also i wonder what sort of radio station would have even played this.
@wijn Yeah, it's a stubbornly difficult record to categorise. It wouldn't fit on a pop station, it made classical stations pretty cross at the time, and don't you fucking dare call it a novelty record, although there were certainly no shortage of Bad Novelty Records that ripped it off.
There's a great radio programme from 1969 by Glenn Gould, featuring interviews with Wendy Carlos and Jean Le Moyne, that seems to nicely capture what The Discourse at the time was like.
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