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.
We always have a current list of available titles on our Discography Page. There are also some related questions that we've tried to answer on our Disk Notes Page. You'll read about each new title right here first. And those titles that are not yet done are in the queue, being worked on or about to be worked on. We're getting caught up with most of the back titles finally. By Request is still a matter of some months away, although plans are subject to change for a list of reasons that we can't go into here. With pressures from ESD to release all four Bach/Baroque albums first, they are underway now, and I expect to get back to By Request in early 2002. If it's any help, please realize that we are fully aware, more than anyone else, of all the back catalog. We also want to see all of them out in deluxe new editions just as soon as it's humanly possible, without cutting any corners.

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?

A: Please 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.
On the other hand many female authors have used male pseudonyms, especially if it was believed their writings might be received "more eagerly" with a male image in front of it. Think of George Sand, Sig-O to composer Frederic Chopin, and many more up through Alice Sheldon, the writer whose excellent SF novels were credited: James Tiptree, Jr. A few men have recently written us in (threatened?) outrage, insisting we should perpetuate the folly, and still refuse accurate album credit, "to maintain consistency" (once wrong, always wrong?). Unbelievable cheek (proof we haven't come so far?). Arrgh! Please feel free to bop a few heads for us...

Q: Did you say you would be compiling an album of your unknown music for films?

A: Yes, 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 him!)
It's also a long haul to go through all the master tapes, choosing a good variety of selections which will be particularly of interest to filmscore fans. This filmscore collection was originally going to be the next album, right after the By Request remastering was completed. But now ESD has asked us to complete the unbundled versions of the Bach and Baroque music first. That slides those along by a few months. It shouldn't be a big worry, as you can see we're serious about this, and have made a good sized "dent" in the back catalog already. We're just not satisfied to put out a minimum effort and value series of remasterings, and want these albums all to live up to our promise of "definitive editions." We know we can't please everybody (you ought see some of the letters we often get, 180 degrees apart, contradicting one with the next). But we certainly try to please you all, and thank the more sensitive souls who write in appreciation for the extra efforts.

--Wendy Carlos 
(Updated 10/11/01 -- a palindrome, unless you prefer: 10/02/2001... and btw, shouldn't the term, "e mord nil ap" also be one...? ;^). Most recent update: 03/03/02)

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