Wendy Carlos’ pioneering work with the Moog synth explored in new biography

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Alongside her influence on American pop culture, collaborations with Stanley Kubrick, and impact on ambient music.

The first Wendy Carlos biography, titled Wendy Carlos: A Biography, is being published this April via Oxford University Press.

Read more: An interactive timeline of the pioneering women of electronic music

Written by Amanda Sewell, the biography offers a holistic overview of Carlos life, exploring her impact on American popular culture, her early electronic work, the legacy of her 1968 album Switched-On Bach, as well as her contributions to ambient and collaborations with filmmakers including Stanley Kubrick.

Wendy Carlos: A Biography delves into how Carlos took the Moog synth from the confines of music academia to the broader public, thus helping to enact what Sewell declares as “one of the most substantial changes in popular music’s sound since musicians began using amplifiers.”

Sewell also touches on the relationship between Carlos’ work and her gender identity, exploring her retreat to “the solitary world of the electronic music studio”, and how Carlos channelled feelings of isolation and loneliness into her work.

Head here for more info in advance of its 2nd April publication, check out the cover below.