Wendy Carlos: Godmother of Electronic Music

November 18, 2019

In 1968, Wendy Carlos and the synthesizer, which was an unknown musical instrument at the time, broke the boundaries between classical and synthesized music. Reconstructing Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concert # 3, Wendy created the most influential "electronic" recording of all time. She won three Grammys and refuted the stereotype that a synthesizer is a misunderstood machine that professors use in laboratories.



Carlos has been passionate about piano since the age of six, and at the University of Brown she went on to study music, music and physics. Later, Wendy began working as a tape editor at Gotham Recording, where she became friends with Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.


For many years, Carlos helped Robert refine his synthesizers, finally convincing Muga to add sensory sensitivity to the keyboard for better dynamics and music. Wendy became one of the first owners of the synthesizer and popularized this instrument with her works.


The commercial success has pushed Carlos to work more on keyboard albums in various genres, including synthesized adaptations of classical music. Carlos was the composer of two Stanley Kubrick films - Mechanical Orange (1971) and Radiance (1980), as well as a film such as Throne (1982, Walt Disney Productions).


Interesting fact is that Carlos is biologically male, in 1968 she began a transgender transition, but for 10 years continued to act publicly as a man. She officially became a transgender woman after surgery in 1979, according to an interview for Playboy magazine. "The public has proven to be extremely tolerant or indifferent," Carlos said later. Surprisingly, after this coming out, her career began to only go uphill.