Trashing Urban Legends,
Factoids, & Speculations
Your Most Frequently Requested Answers
(regularly updated, in random order)
Q: When will the CD to TRON be released? (Note the other variations on this most common request below...)
A: If you've hung out on our site a bit recently you will have discovered the new short page that announces the good news. TRON is finally available on a new Disney CD release. Read all about it!
Q: Disney seems to be working on a TRON sequel. Have you been asked to compose the new score?
A: This has been confirmed from several sources, and certainly appears to be happening. We've heard that Steven Lisberger will again direct, and perhaps some of the other principals will be involved. It's early in the cycle of TRON v. 2.0 production as this is written, and there generally are changes to be expected in the volatile and expensive world of film. I don't have any idea what the response might be if you were to write them about this. So far we've not heard from anyone at all involved, and I don't really expect to. If we do I'll post some cheerful notice here. I simply assume they will go with one of the well known people in LA, that would be the "obvious" decision, wouldn't it? Too bad, because it could be fun, and lead to a unified new score containing familar elements, another blend of acoustic and electronic, not so likely if someone else does it. Short answer: "NO."
Q: When will the CD to By Request be released?
A: You may
smile to discover that this question has been asked about
every one of the albums in turn, as they go through the
slow, demanding process of being remastered and released on
ESD. The only thing that ends the questions is that the new
CD is finally seen, in stores or on the web. Right now the
S-OB and W-TS questions will fade as these two titles have
been released, as this is rewritten.
Q: What do you think of the new modular synthesizers?
A: You know, I've not thought much about them either way. I naturally smiled when I saw the first reports in the magazines, but then the whole idea of "retro" has become oh so trendy it's not a big surprise. I'm still nostalgic about the old "monsters", and well remember both how to use one (like riding a bike) and why I don't really want to ever again. So many limitations, it felt simply WONderful when we took the next steps in sophistication in the early 80's. I've never looked back mostly, yet I do every so often dwell on the way things have changed in music synthesis. Not all the changes have been improvements, and fer sure we have a long way to go ahead of us, a real Fourier Synthesizer, with all the bells and whistles to produce nearly any sound that can be imagined, or at least get real close to that goal. Add in complex modulations (FM, PM, AM) and some other versatile, open-ended bits to the additive. But then you've caught me thinking more about the path ahead, than the one behind. That's just me. Some of you may enjoy exploring the old daze with the new/old modulars, with my blessings (and bemusement). Please don't next start pestering me to return to those not so good old days...! Deal?
Q: What do you think of the new XXX synthesizer?
A: It's not a surprise that newer instruments are coming out all the time that claim to advance the state of the art in some way, besides the newer retro nostalgia implementations referred to above. I can't comment on what most people in "popdom" who use these instruments need and will support. Mass-market music has gone off in notably unexciting directions, and the needs there are similarly unexciting, except in the press releases. Don't forget, folks always want what's "NEW" and "HOT," as long as it's exactly the same as what they had before. The same cake gets a new color frosting. I have not tried all the latest synths and electroacoustic hardware and software, of course, so easily could be missing something notable here. But so far the progress has been singularly snail-like in the ways I refer to above, and we sure do have a long way to go for an optimum instrument, you can count on that!
Q: And what about your music from The Shining? Do it for your fans!
A: In this case I'm not nearly so annoyed as by Disney and Tron, as there are only two selections of my music included on the soundtrack LP for The Shining. Warner Brothers holds exclusive control, makes all the decisions on that album, so if that's what you want, you're asking the wrong people. Rachel and I also did a great deal of other music for the film, with orchestra and electroacoustic, but nearly all of it succumbed to a similar fate as Alex North's wonderful score for 2001: Stanley became locked onto the "temp tracks." This is the well known problem of listening repeatedly to place-filler tracks. Soon nothing, no matter how good, seems "quite right." We ended up doing quite a few textures and simple elements that could be mixed under some of his needle-drops, and Kubrick assembled these with his engineers. I'm not sure what bits were used where. That makes it hard to respond to this kind of request, and also much less interesting. Rest assured that some of the good unused music will find a place in the planned collection of unheard film score music, mentioned below, and we hope you get a kick out of that!
Q: Why do some of the old LP's have a different name on them?
be assured that these are all Wendy Carlos albums, and were
so when they were first completed. But-- to cut to the
chase, in those less enlightened times strong selfish
opinions were voiced (synthesizers are a "male" enterprise,
don't you see...?). I was flabbergasted to be denyed fair
credit (the first S-OB's had
no cover credit at all, in fact, just: "Performed on the
Moog Synthesizer," creating another misconception: that the
Moog synth did it all. CBS signed our instrument, not us, to
a contract -- talk about getting no respect...).
Well, politically incorrect fears and dissembling
perpetuated a fictionalized identity including faked
pictures, for 10 years (grrr...). I naively let them run
amok, forced to hide from the public until 1979, when fed
up, I pulled the plug on the whole mess. Yes, a depressing
tale -- old "news" by now. People can be cruel.
Q: Did you say you would be compiling an album of your unknown music for films?
indeed; it came up again just above. We've got a lot of
music here that we'd love to share with you. Most of it was
set aside during the scoring of each film, along with a few
scores which you've not heard anything of before. Those went
in other directions, leaving many good pieces unused. That
happens all the time in motion pictures, directors or
moneyed people changing their minds. (Look at Jerry
Goldsmith's gorgeous score to "Legend" being replaced with
more obvious synthy things. Damn, it even happens to
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