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Wendy Carlos Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (16)

Overview (2)

Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA
Birth NameWalter Carlos

Mini Bio (1)

Wendy Carlos, one of the great innovators in synthesized and electronic music, was born as Walter Carlos in Rhode Island on November 14, 1939. She underwent a sex-change operation in 1972, details of which she revealed during a surprise Playboy interview in 1979. Walter's last credited release is "Sonic Seasonings" (1972). Wendy's first credited release is the "Tron" soundtrack (1982), which was released on CD in 2002.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trivia (16)

Several recordings made by Wendy Carlos when she was Walter Carlos were briefly re-issued under the name "W. Carlos".
Her ground-breaking album "Switched On Bach" was the first all-synthesizer recording of classical music. She followed this with a series of classical recordings, all performed on sythesizers.
The last album credited to 'Walter Carlos' was 'By Request' (1975). The first album released under the name 'Wendy Carlos' was Switched-on Brandenburgs (1980).
Is an avid eclipse chaser. Her website contains many splendid photographs of solar eclipses from all over the world, taken since the early 1970's.
Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University.
She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films - A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980) - and also Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.
By early 1968 Carlos had begun hormone replacement treatments under Benjamin's care, which began altering her appearance. This created some problems for Carlos when Switched-On Bach became an unexpected hit after its release in October 1968. Prior to a live performance of excerpts from the album with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Carlos felt terrified to appear in public. She cried in her hotel room and left wearing fake sideburns and a man's wig, and drew facial hair on her face with an eyebrow pencil to disguise herself as a man. Carlos did the same thing when she met Kubrick and for an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970.
Carlos became aware of her gender dysphoria at an early age, recalling: "I was about five or six... I remember being convinced I was a little girl, much preferring long hair and girls' clothes, and not knowing why my parents didn't see it clearly".
Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer, which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards.
The commercial success of Switched-On Bach allowed Carlos to undergo sex reassignment surgery in May 1972, although for marketing reasons she released two more albums as Walter Carlos (1973's Switched On Bach II and 1975's By Request.).
In 2005, Carlos was the recipient of the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of lifetime achievement and contribution to the art and craft of electro-acoustic music" by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States.
Carlos disclosed her transgender status in a series of interviews with Arthur Bell held between December 1978 and January 1979 and published in the May 1979 issue of Playboy magazine. She explained that Playboy had "always been concerned with liberation, and [I was] anxious to liberate myself".
Studying and working with various electronic musicians and technicians at the city's Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, she helped in the development of the Moog synthesizer, the first commercially available keyboard instrument created by Robert Moog.
In 1985, Carlos spoke about the reaction to her transition: "The public turned out to be amazingly tolerant or, if you wish, indifferent ... There had never been any need of this charade to have taken place. It had proven a monstrous waste of years of my life.
In 1998, Carlos sued the songwriter/artist Momus for $22 million regarding the song "Walter Carlos" (from the album The Little Red Songbook, released that year), which postulated that the post-sex reassignment surgery Wendy could travel back in time to marry her pre-transition self, Walter. The case was settled out of court, with Momus agreeing to remove the song from subsequent editions of the CD and owing $30,000 in legal fees.
In 1979, Carlos raised public awareness of transgender issues by disclosing she had been living as a woman since at least 1968, and in 1972 had undergone sex reassignment surgery.

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