From the beginning, composer and synthesist Wendy Carlos has not followed a conventional music course. Born in Pawtucket, R.I., she started piano lessons at age 6 and exhibited talents for graphic arts and the sciences, winning a Westinghouse Science Fair scholarship for a home built computer. After pursuing a hybrid major in music and physics at Brown University, she earned an M.A. in music composition at Columbia University, studying with pioneers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at the first electronic music center in the U.S.A. Upon graduation, Carlos worked as a recording engineer and befriended Robert Moog (who currently manufactures many instruments at Big Briar,) becoming one of his first clients.
In collaboration with Rachel Elkind, who served as her producer for a dozen years, Carlos hit platinum sales status with her 1968 recording Switched-On Bach, which propelled the Moog synthesizer into the public consciousness and won three Grammy Awards. She refined her… read more