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Look at our Older News

New Music Box Video & Text Interview
Lost film score music -- Rediscovered
SEAMUS Life Achievement Award
20th Anniversary S-OB2k remastered
CBS/Sony album remasters completed
Virtual Tour of a new custom hybrid instrument
Unbundled Bach/Baroque albums completed

TRON gets the deluxe remaster treatment
Two more Total Eclipse Reports
Beauty in the Beast debuts again
Tuning at the Crossroads article available
Digital Moonscapes as it should have been
Switched-On Boxed Set released
A Gorgeous Total Solar Eclipse
A farewell to Stanley Kubrick
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LeafNew Music Box
A Major New In-Depth Interview
(including Video QT excerpts!)


We're pleased to announce a major new in-depth interview which was conducted by Frank Oteri for the online music magazine, New Music Box, in January of 2007. I met Frank originally at the radio station for Columbia University, WKCR, during their Tricentennial celebration of the birth of J. S. Bach. The marathon broadcasts that week included a great many music specialists and authorities on Bach, his music, life, and performance practice. I was honored to be asked to appear, which turned out to be the early evening of New Year's Eve, the very end of 1984. Frank was bright, knowledgeable, and most affable, and we got along fine for a freewheeling live interview, mainly about my pioneering albums of Bach's music, the Switched-On collection, and other topics which we inevitably digressed upon. A lovely memory.
So I was happy to hear again from Frank near the end of last year. By now he was around the age I was when we did the radio interview, and had matured into a fine composer and music historian himself. He'd become an adept synthesist, was working with microtonality, and various software based music tools which I also use regularly. So it was a meeting of peers this time, as Frank proposed coming by to interview me for his newest ongoing project. This turned out to be New Music Box, an online music magazine I'd only heard about before. He gave me the links to show the kind of interview he wanted to do. I checked it out, and went back for more quite a few times. Nice work, including many people who I respect, quite a few whom I've known or have worked with before. Like: Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Pauline Oliveros, Leonard Slatkin, Ned Rorem, John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Annea Lockwood, John Eaton, Richard Einhorn, Joan Jeanrenaud... and so many other notable people in music. Lovely.
So I felt in good company (understatement) to be asked to be included in such a list. The interviews, while featured one each month, remain online for years. That's even better than a print magazine edition, which can become lost or tossed out, much too ephemeral a record of ongoing dialogs and historical documentation. Another novel bit is that Oteri wanted to run a video of our conversation, as he had done for the other musicians, composers, performers, and theoreticians during the years the magazine has been active. "Um. Well..., a video you say? Does that mean a filming crew would have to be here, if we did it as you want, in my studio? (Memories of bashed in door frames, scratched cabinets, walls, and knocked over equipment, side-effects of past filming encounters, danced nervously in my head...)
Turns out Frank captures these interviews VERY informally, usually with a small DV camcorder. But I have one of those already. "Could I just set up my camera to tape us, and spare any other crew having to be here?" That was fine for Frank. Kewl. So I carefully setup some lights, tripod, mikes, and so on, all in front of the Wurly II, rolled up comfortable chairs facing each other, and made some test videos. Once that looked pretty good, we scheduled a get together, which took place this January 18th, right after dinner. It was great fun, Frank couldn't have been better prepared (although I've been lucky in general with many fine people who've interviewed me through the years), and we let it continue until after I AM, filling up more than two cassettes in the process. He had brought some notes with him, including a lot of uncliched questions and topics to cover that I'd not heard that way, if at all, before. Which made it more enjoyable for me, too, provocative, intelligent stuff, I thought...

"Wendy's World"
An Interview between Wendy Carlos & Frank Oteri

Video Excerpts on NMB website
Full Interview links at New Music Box
(Search for April 2007 Cover Story)
Our Concise Edition of the Interview
(a special shorter version, if you're in a hurry)

It was a major time-sponge for Frank and his team to make a transcript of everything we spoke about that evening. Finally Frank sent me a long text file (originally 40 pp!). He'd promised I could do a good editing and double-checking of the final version. Don't get such respect very often. I took it seriously, and spent a good week+ at it, several hours a day, until I had smoothed out the ad lib comments into a more publishable form. I sent that back to Frank, he edited it further, and we co-tweaked it with care as the deadline arrived. Frank wanted this to be their April cover story, and we made it just in time. It's there now.
Aside from setting up the camera gear, I had nothing to do with the video editing and assembly. I was slightly concerned it might end up chopped into pieces with little context or continuity, or that it might garble our thoughts. Need not have worried. Frank and his video collaborator and editor at NMB, Randy Nordschow (another composer, BTW), did a lovely, professional job. I'd never have had the objectivity nor patience to cut down something like two and a quarter hours into about twelve choice minutes, including a neat slide show assembled by Randy, all tied together with selections of my music -- a fine QuickTime video we hope you'll enjoy.
Anyway, after this happy experience, I want to share it with you, sincerely, if immodestly. I waited a couple of weeks (until a few odd technical networking problems had been solved) to add this to our website, but it's all working fine at last. So here's the deal, I'm placing, with Frank's permission, a "concise edition" of the interview online here. You can read it on our site, selected highlights of all the stuff we spoke about, broken up with section titles befitting the topics discussed. If you don't have the time to read the whole thing, that would be your best bet, read it HERE. The whole interview appears online at New Music Box itself (<www.newmusicbox.net>), search for the April 2007 cover story page if it's moved. And in either case, please take a look at their streaming video. Printed word can be very misleading at times. It's rather nice to have the chance to watch people talking directly on an unadorned video. (It's still best to try off-peak hours, as the connection can be slow or busy, or give it time to load in the background.) It's around ten minutes long they said, and will give you a good feeling for that evening Frank and I chatted away in January (for time reasons, Frank cut himself out of the video). And while you're there, take a look around, there are many excellent interviews and articles on broad selection of musical topics. Meanwhile, thank you, Frank, for being so well prepared, and for putting together such a nice document of an interview I won't soon forget!


LeafLost Filmscores, Rediscovered
Music Never Before Available

Two brand-new volumes of Lost Filmscore Music

About Volume One  --  About Volume Two

We're proud to announce that our mastering schedule has moved ahead steadily as promised, if somewhat more slowly. Further below we mentioned the newest remastering of Wendy's albums, including the 1992 sequel to the original S-OB, our 25th Anniversary edition: Switched-On Bach 2000. And right here we present two brand-new titles, albums of music heretofore unavailable in any form, Rediscovering Lost Scores, volumes one & two.
The subtitle, "Quintessential Archeomusicology" goes right to the heart of the matter. The Lost Score albums required digging though stacks and shelves of dusty reels and boxes, back into the forgotten past in a search for lost treasures. The project took over a year to complete, in several stages, as master tapes were played, cataloged and transferred to new digital masters. This was the best way to locate the most interesting of the forgotten filmscore tracks (quite a few had been mislabeled, or placed out of order, mixed in with other projects during the haste of deadlines). We were excited, as these new albums would complete our contract with East Side Digital in great style.
Wendy also took the time to create the striking covers and other graphics for the two CDs, which convey a flavor of the search, a tomb-raider adventure into music which had remained unreleased, unheard for years, and in many cases, for decades. It's a pair of albums worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of her filmscore music. You'll discover surprising tracks from three well-known features, Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, and Disney's TRON.
You'll also get to hear other equally memorable selections from less well known films, some for the Dick Young documentaries created for UNICEF, and two British features, Split Second, and Woundings. As a bonus, we've found the masters to the music Wendy created for her friends at Dolby Laboratories, for two short films which demonstrated the magic of Dolby Surround Sound!
(Note: these latter two tracks, as with most of the tracks on the album, decode very nicely into Surround Sound with Dolby Pro Logic.)


To give you a better idea, here are the contents of both volumes, with 61 tracks in total, nearly two hours of music. Then for more details check out the two new web pages we've just created about the albums. The first volume is described HERE, and the second volume is described HERE.

Lost Scores -- volume one  

Lost Scores -- volume two   


  From "The Shining" (studio music):
 2-The Rocky Mountains
 3-Chase Music
 4-Nocturnal Valse Triste
 5-Greetings Ghosties
 6-Horror Show
 7-A Haunted Waltz
 8-Psychic Shout #237
10-Heartbeats and Worry
11-Subliminal Ballroom
12-Thought Clusters
13-A Ghost Piano
15-Dark Winds and Rustles
16-Bumps in the Night
17-Setting with Medea
18-Two Polymoog Improvisations
19-Fanfare and Drunken Dies
20-Clockworks (Bloody Elevators)
21-Danny Bells Ascending

  From "Clockwork Orange":
23-Stately Purcell
24-Pop Purcell
25-Trumpet Voluntary

  From several UNICEF films:
26-The Children of Peru
27-Shanty Town and Farewell
28-Daycare and the Colonel
29-Two Distant Walks
30-Ethiopian Life
31-Tanzanian Scenes
32-Three Hopeful Places

  From "The Shining" (orchestra & studio):
 1-Shining Title Music
 2-Paraphrase for 'Cello
 3-Where's Jack?
 4-The Overlook
 5-Psychic Scream
 6-Day of Wrath
 7-Paraphrase for Brass
 8-Title Music "Dies" (Owens, flugelhorn)
 9-Clockworks "Dies" (Owens, trumpet)

  From "Tron":
10-Creation of Tron version I
11-Creation of Tron version II
12-Lightcycle Games
13-Anthem (studio version)
14-Little Interludes

  From "Split Second":
16-Visit to a Morgue
17-Return to the Morgue

  From "Woundings":
18-Woundings Title Music
19-Angela's Walk
22-Doug Does Angela
23-Scattering Ashes
24-Angela's Aftermath  
25-Jimmy Kills Louise
26-In a Cemetery
27-Fly Away and End

  From two Dolby Demo films:
28-Bee Dee Bei Mir
29-Listen: Tannhauser

To learn more about the two latest titles, and to audition and to
purchase any of our deluxe editions see the Discography page HERE.

--Wendy Carlos / April 2005-07

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LeafSEAMUS Award
Wendy receives 2005 Lifetime
Achievement Award

Seamus Award

Talk about your big surprises. Near the end of 2004 Wendy was contacted by the well-known and long-established electroacoustic music group, SEAMUS (Society of Electro Acoustic Music in the United States -- it's pronounced like the Irish-Anglo name: "SHAY-muss"). They wished to present her with their 2005 Life Achievement Award, at the April 2005 Convention, due to be held at Ball State University in Indiana. That event recently took place, as is described in more detail at the SEAMUS 2005 Convention's website HERE (if this link is no longer working, check their main homepage).
While Wendy was unfortunately prevented from attending the Convention due to the deadline final assembly work on the Lost Scores project, she sent her thank-you comments plus a custom CD in which she introduced selections of her music reworked into a new suite for the event. It was played during the final evening concert for the Convention. Wendy describes how she felt about the honor towards the bottom of our Open Letter Six page. And Bob Moog generously contributed his encomium to the Convention and to Wendy, which you can read HERE.


LeafS-OB 2000
The 25th Anniversary All-New
Sequel Edition -- Available Again

SOB2K Cover
Our deluxe CD remastering completes
the Wendy Carlos Bach/Baroque Collection

Switched-On Bach 2000

As the twenty-fifth anniversary of Switched-On Bach approached, Wendy wanted to return to the pioneering album, and do something exciting to mark the occasion. With all of the changes that electro-acoustic music had undergone during that quarter of a century, the tools of creating such realizations had moved from being rather experimental custom synthesizers (generally a struggle to use), to a more mature stage we now take for granted. Digital oscillators provided ultra-stable tuning, even in any arbitrary tuning scale. The range of newly created sounds had broadened considerably, and instruments included near-exact replicas and samples of traditional acoustic instruments, plus a large range of timbres which fell in-between.
The audio quality of the latest digital multitrack recorders brought about another major improvement, even when compared to the large, heavy fully professional Ampex tape machines Wendy had used for the first albums. Auxiliary sound processors had evolved to a similar degree. It was a different world of music making.
After discussions with several musician friends, a few industry experts, it was decided that this was an ideal time to recreate all of the music heard on the original album, plus new bonus tracks, as a way to show off the latest state of the electronic music making arts. So Switched-On Bach 2000 was born (we often call it: "S-OB 2K"), a sequel to S-OB, a revisiting of old musical friends, seen through different, mature eyes, a world of new possibilities.
The anniversary album was launched in Spring of 1992, with a decent campaign to bring it to the public's attention, and has remained a popular album since then. Many people found the comparisons and contrasts with the first album to be fascinating: the new timbres were richer and darker, and Wendy's growth as an artist gave a subtler, more confident tone. The new sounds benefited greatly by playing the music using the smoother tuning scales Bach himself preferred, which are seldom heard today. And with the recording arts so much more transparent, the addition of Dolby Pro Logic encoding for the whole album, the final results have a clarity and around the room impact that must be heard, to appreciate the growth of 25 years.
The original Telarc edition become unavailable in 2002, and we were inundated by many requests from you to put it out again. Wendy recently did just that, taking the time to further polish and tweak the audio masters with great care. They've never sounded better, as you'll hear on our new Hi-D edition. The original somewhat disappointing cover art was also replaced by a new one, a tribute and wry takeoff on the original S-OB I cover. If you add this album to the Switched-On Boxed Set, or the unbundled individual Bach and Baroque titles, you'll own the complete set of Wendy Carlos's definitive "Switched-On" albums, music which launched the world of sound we hear all around us today. Read more about our 25th Anniversary Edition HERE. And see all our albums on the discography page HERE.

--Wendy Carlos / April 2005

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LeafCBS/Sony Album Remasters Completed!
End of a L-o-n-g Haul...

BR Cover
SoS Cover
Two final CBS/Sony albums, in new deluxe CD editions,
By Request" (left) and "Secrets of Synthesis" (right)

It has taken five years to reach this stage, but we wanted to do things right. And we suspect that most of you will agree. That is how the famous "Quality Triangle" operates. All projects embraces three factors: Quality, Cost, and Time -- pick any two. It was easy here, the first one, quality, stays. And since these editions are a labor of love (the market for non-rock music has become vanishingly small, alas), the second item, "cost" has to be held down (we've also dropped the list prices on all our titles). The final element, time, then must adopt a pragmatic: whatever it takes.
The eventual result? These are the best editions we could create of all the Wendy Carlos titles originally released on CBS (later Sony). Most of them make their first appearance on CD. Even the handful of titles which CBS had released on CDs didn't have the advantages of 20-bit Hi-D transfers from the first generation master mixes, mostly on 1/2" four-track tape. This was an ideal way to proceed, but took much more time and work than the routine transfers of the vast majority of CD remasters.
We're very pleased the results, and thank the many of you who have shared your appreciation and enthusiasm. Why did it take longer than we first predicted? In many cases the conditions of the master tapes demanded a degree of improvisation and care we'd not experienced before (for one example, read about the TRON master tapes HERE). Then with the extraordinary clarity and transparency of the Hi-D process, what we could get away with in the past now stood out in stark relief (translation: we could suddenly hear low level glitches we'd never noticed before!). It required a good deal of hand editing, cleaning and tweaking to assure that only the subtle problems were removed (one detail at a time) but none of the music (automatic process are a compromise and leave artifacts).
We realize than a lot of you out there have been anxious to obtain ultra Hi-Fi copies of "By Request," to judge by the your letters in the past two years. Some bemoaned the loss of "Secrets of Synthesis," when CBS's contract expired, and that album sold out, over a decade ago, as with our more popular titles, like the Switched-On series. All we can say is: "Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm, good people!" We hope you'll be pleased with the results, and spread the word among your friends about these appealing new CD editions. In every case we've taken the extra time to create new bonus features, befitting true Collector's Editions of classic CDs and DVDs.
The covers and graphic elements have been reworked from often faded, aging originals. Where the originals were not available to us any longer we came up with all-new artwork which suits the albums better than the originals. Working with a large company like CBS required a lot of corporate compromises, and we were often bullied into accepting ideas we didn't find appropriate or effective. Here was the chance to make amends, and assure that the physical CDs look and sound first rate, even if it took more time than CBS would have allowed. If you haven't heard and seen our new editions, if you have only the jpegs from the web to judge by, the music via compressed audio like mp3, you're in for a treat. Such demanding sounds as the pure tones of the Moog synthesizer require an unusually high acuity sound transfer process. And that's just what Hi-D 20 bit audio is all about.

We've discussed regularly the next remasterings to follow these, which include the 20th Anniversary Edition: Switched-On Bach 2000, originally on Telarc, and unavailable for a couple of years (update note: now released -- see above for details). More surprising is a compilation album of music soundtracks that have never before been released, a fascinating world of "Lost Soundtracks" -- music composed and performed by Wendy but either dropped from the final production (a face on the cutting-room floor?), or simply never the focus of a record album or CD before now. We've spoken of that idea before (update note: now also released -- see above for details). And after that there are two brand new music projects which are in the early planning stages, one including music performed on the new Wurly II instrument described below. As we've said throughout the discography section of this site: Please Stay Tuned -- you'll read all about it here first!
To learn more about the two latest titles, and to audition and to
purchase any of our deluxe editions see the Discography page HERE.


LeafThe WurliTzer II
New Custom Hybrid Instrument!

Take the Virtual Tour
(or click image for just a large view) 

During the more than a year since this News Page was last updated a whole new construction project has taken shape here in the studio. It wasn't ever actually planned, but several paths intersected in such a way as to lead to a whole new musical instrument. It's called the WurliTzer II (or Wurly II) since it combines something old (the classy 80+ year old WurliTzer pipe organ tradition) and something new (mature digital synthesis and MIDI), in a unique setup we think you'll enjoy learning more about. So there's a major new addition just uploaded to our website: a complete Virtual Tour of this new hybrid musical tool. The tour includes some of the history behind the Wurly II, and many of the custom features and devices which were essential to get the whole ensemble to operate as a single, live instrument. Hopefully it will be something of a surprise, even to those of you who already know a lot about Wendy's work and this homepage site. Take a look! 

--Wendy Carlos / Dec 2003, updated April 2005

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LeafBach & Baroque
As you remember them!

Four Individual Bach Baroque editions

You have responded with surprising enthusiasm to our recent deluxe edition, the complete Switched-On Boxed Set, for which we'd like to thank you. Still, it was always our intention to provide two choices for fans of Wendy's Bach and Baroque synthesizer realizations. The boxed set was created to appeal to those of you who typically collect "director's cut" and expanded, restored films on DVD, those who want lots of bonus material unavailable elsewhere. Others want only a few of the titles, and are not so deeply involved with the musical and technical side of music making, or seek new editions which recall very accurately the original LP's and Cassette tapes of these classic recordings.

Read all about these four titles, and audition / purchase the
new deluxe editions from our Discography page HERE.


LeafTRON -- Original Soundtrack
First time on CD!

New Disney Release of TRON

During the remasterings for the four above "unbundled" Bach & Baroque albums we were finally contacted by Disney in regards Wendy's long-sought after filmscore to their groundbreaking computer graphics film, "TRON." It was with great enthusiasm that we briefly interrupted work on the Baroque albums to assemble a definitive edition of this score. There's a full page which describes some of the details online at our site. (Note-- we've just learned that Disney has discontinued this often requested album without our knowledge. We're looking into it, and will try to make it available again.)

Read all about it HERE.



LeafTwo More Total Eclipse Reports

It's been awhile since we last mentioned here the ongoing gradual additions of new total solar eclipse observations and images of our Eclipse Page. The last time was for the August 1999 totality, as observed and successfully photographed by Wendy from Romania. To bring us right up to date, there are two major additions now online: the report for the June 2001 eclipse, from Zambia, and also one Wendy worked on "vicariously," from December 2002.

Read all about the June 2001 Total Eclipse, and see the naked eye images.
Read all about the December 2002 Total Eclipse, and see the naked eye images.

--Wendy Carlos / Feb 2003

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LeafBeauty in the Beast debuts again!

Since we released the complete Switched-On Boxed Set last year, the most requested album has been Beauty in the Beast, which has had to wait its turn. There's a very good chance you've heard of it before, but more than likely you've never heard it, or been able to find copies of it. Little wonder, as despite a great many surprisingly enthusiastic reviews, BitB was only available for a few months, early in 1986. That summer the album's debut on a new label, Audion (Jem records) ended brutally abruptly, after only a couple of thousand copies had been pressed. The reason? Jem went bankrupt, a victim of the hazards of overextended smaller record companies at that time, when CD's were no longer an automatic ticket to success.
The few remaining copies in stock sold out quickly, and the masters reverted back to us. It became a sore spot that this special creation of mine had to be put aside for the time being, while other projects intervened. It was our intention to put it out again on our own as soon as possible. Well that took much longer than expected, and it is only now that BitB can receive a proper second "debut" on ESD records. This may be just as well, as by now the sound tools available have matured to a stage that permit the original masters and artwork to be finessed a great deal, made even better than those few original copies Audion pressed. We're very pleased to announce this deluxe Hi-D 20-bit remastering, truly "better than new", certainly better than ever before, and hope you will enjoy becoming acquainted with something neat I don't think you've ever heard like before.

Read all about it (or just click image for a bigger view) 

It was a fascinating learning project for me to attempt to assemble the new release's layout and graphics work all by myself. In the process I learned more about Quark than I ever wanted to know (*wink*), and many somewhat arcane realities and practical tricks from the printing trade. It took a lot more time and effort than I expected, of course (the best shortcut is usually: "don't look for shortcuts," after all). We attempted to get the images to look closer to the original painting that was possible in the mid-80's, and made many careful test prints and trials. In the end the reproduction still came out a bit dark, but is much improved over the original Jem versions.
Since Murray Brenman had done such a fine job with the Audion release, collaborating with us during many pleasant meetings, we tried to retain his good work, expanding on it with several newly minted graphic elements. The book is expanded, too, with added graphics touches to both the original notes and our customary "looking back" additional remarks, as seen from the present (20:20 hindsight having its advantages). We've included both sets of notes on this website, so those who wish to know more before purchasing can find answers to many questions here.

The complete original BitB Notes
Additional new "looking back" BitB Notes


LeafAdditional Bonus on new CD editions of BitB:

= Tuning, at the Crossroads =

Read the complete article by Wendy that originally appeared in Computer Music Journal, 11/1.
Includes all the original images and all audio soundsheet examples that appeared with the article.

Many of you have sent us requests and questions for this pioneering 1986 article. We eventually may post it or at least much of it on this site, but in the meantime, you can enjoy the whole thing as a free bonus when you buy the new BitB Enhanced-CD. It's particularly fitting a combination, as the article goes into great detail about the fascinating world of tunings and temperaments that are explored in music and sounds on the Beauty in the Beast album itself. Hear the results, then learn the hows and whys about them, in a newly edited and convenient, attractive html document. Many small mistakes in the original printing have been found and corrected, and the figure size has been greatly enlarged from the journal's version for this definitive publishing.




LeafDigital Moonscapes
as originally conceived!

When Digital Moonscapes was first released in 1984, CBS (later Sony) had their own album cover department, which was pretty much solely responsible for the "look and feel" of all their product. Sometimes this worked out very well, as their covers for "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer" (using an imaginative photo by Horn/Griner) and "Sonic Seasonings" (the two-LP edition had a lovely wrap-around image featuring a classic painted screen by Ogata Korin) were marvelous. Sometimes a poor original version was made quite decent (see the Boxed Set big book for that story...), like the cover for the first "Switched-On Bach." Other covers and graphics I have always thought were just lame, as the 1972 "Clockwork Orange," or this album's initial release. Well, we managed to redo the "Clockwork" cover in 1998's ESD deluxe remastering, and that's also the case for our new edition of Digital Moonscapes.
Much as with the second album release for Fall of 2000, Beauty in the Beast, described just above, the new 20-bit audio is also given the benefit of a lot of new powerful sound tools, and a LOT of time and care using those tools to squeeze every bit of music from the definitive master recordings, while minimizing the gremlins of old, like bits of hiss, hum, or tiny ticks and glitches. Both albums now sound better than ever before, and look snappy, too. The story of the new artwork is explained in some detail on the Enhanced-CD files included on the new DM album. It's also mentioned on the additional new notes.

dm new
dm old
New DM cover vs. original CBS version
Read all about it (or just click either image for a bigger view) 

After completing the final layout for Beauty in the Beast, I tackled the much bigger job of creating the completely new graphics and layout for this deluxe remastered edition of Digital Moonscapes. Since CBS owns the copyright on most of the albums after 1972, we actually have little choice on the changes, as we are not allowed to use either the good or not so good versions. For DM, that was no loss, as it turns out. There were many more graphic elements to generate, including a very complex compositing and rebuilding of elements for the cover art, than BitB required. But it was a wonderful learning process, and most gratifying to return to the concept we'd originally envisioned, before CBS had ideas of its own. The Enhanced-CD of our new release has many examples of producing the new graphics, and also contains an interesting comparison chart of the Moons that the music is based upon, and some newly discovered details about the Synergy Synthesizer used for all the sounds heard on the album.
By the time that the graphic work for both albums had been done, and the audio polishing and optimization had been completed as well, we had pushed up against the factory deadline with only days to spare (I got quite sick afterwards, a sure sign of the downside of all work and no play from March-October). So these two albums, which originally were selected to be less time and labor intensive than the Switched-On Boxed Set of last year, actually turned out to be nearly as much of a marathon, especially sans the great help of Chika Azuma, who's mentioned below in her marvelous, crucial work on the Boxed Set. I know I don't have her flair nor speed, but it was educational and stimulating to try these two on my own. If you hate them, I'm the only one to blame...
Meanwhile, for those of you who want still more of an idea about DM, take a look at both the old and new notes for the album:

The complete original Digital Moonscapes Notes
Additional new "looking back" DM Notes  


--Wendy Carlos / Nov. 2000

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hear ye

Boxed Set

The album you've been waiting for and asking about is now available! While the final stages of the newest ESD remastering were proceeding to completion, we had no time to document the stack of new material here. But here is what we posted after sending the masters to the factory:

Many of you have been asking how the work was going on the Switched-On Boxed Set. The short answer was : slowly and wonderfully. As I write this the last audio steps have been done for less than two days. I burned and sent two duplicate sets of final masters to the factory on an amusing day (just by coincidence): 9/9/1999! They will be marrying the Enhanced-CD files to Disk IV, and pressing them all. The printer is at work on the stack of pages for the two books and all the lovely graphics elements. I've been told that before mid-October the set will appear in stores, and a campaign of advertising for this and my prior ESD releases will commence for the first time. It should be worth the wait. Here's some additional information, to give you a preview.

--Wendy Carlos

(FYI: on the title of the new set, the final name had been my original "working title." Later two of you kindly suggested the nicely "punny," "Switched-On Box", and I thought we'd go with that. Sadly, almost everyone else hated it, a few complaining it was also a smutty(!) pun. Lan'sayxe, I lost all my patience! So we went back to the crisp formal original. I still hear an imbedded, much subtler word-play going on: "Switched-On Bach's Set", another last ditch naming attempt no one saluted. Oh well, aname is aname is ...)
The last steps of the audio remastering and restoration are currently underway. There will be some neat stories to share with you here about that. Our four-CD boxed set will be a major ESD release, and contains a book of nearly 150 pages, subtle duotones printed on gorgeous art papers with a great many images in full color, packed with background notes and photos of the people and equipment and locations that went into those wastershed albums of 1968-79. It's a feast of information never before available anywhere. All the original liner notes are collected neatly in a second book nearly a third the size of the big book. Our operative word has been: CONTENT. You'll get your money's worth!

book 1
book 2
Mock-up book covers (click for bigger view) 

The look and feel of the package, designed by NYC-based Grammy Award winning graphics designer, Chika Azuma, is quite special, and very appropriate to both the original Baroque masterpieces and the technological and musical breakthroughs behind the legendary performances. She also hand-made these wonderful mock-up books of which I've scanned a few pages to give you the "sneak preview" here. This classy set (thanx, Chika!) ought become an "instant collectable."

pg. 3
pg. 28
pg. 93
Mock-up example pages (click for bigger view) 

Since it turns out there is still no definitive web site containing this sort of information and photographs of the Moog modular synthesizer, detailed new texts and images were produced over many months. You'll also find in-depth discussions of the music, master tapes, old covers, special music notations, an interview with producer Rachel Elkind, the three TEMPI logos, and commentary from Bob Moog himself, written for the set. Two long new CD tracks highlight many of the original experimental discarded attempts behind the first two albums. These are narrated demos, and feature first time ever mixes of material unheard for 30 years. There really is something for everyone!

Example: Vol II (of 4) CD box cover (click for bigger view) 

You'll no doubt be pleased the quality of the sound. Everything has been transferred from the very first mastered tapes, thus skipping the several additional analog generations that all prior releases were obtained from. These are the cleanest sounding CD's ever heard of the "switched-on" repertoire, a fair payment to those stuck having to replace any of those CD versions CBS/Sony issued on their own. The sound on the original masters, once coaxed out and cleaned and polished with the lastest technology, is quite breathtaking, and perhaps the best reason for doing the project in the first place.
East Side Digital is releasing the deluxe boxed set in early October, with appropriate fanfare and tie-ins to the previous three releases documented on our site some months ago. We'll let you know more soon.

Please spread the good word!
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LeafAn Incredible Total Eclipse

Not news with a capital "N", perhaps, but definitely something special. You might want to take a look at the results from a magically successful eclipse expedition to Romania in August 1999. I observed with a friend from eastern outskirts of Bucharest. Another veteran eclipse chaser and friend, Jonathan Kern, observed several miles to the west of us. We both got wonderful negatives, using his special custom filters, which I computer composited and optimized back here. It also is the cover image (repeated on p. 118) of the November 1999 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine! I've prepared a report on our eclipse page that describes some of the unusual methods we used to obtain some unusually fine images of what proved to be a particularly gorgeous corona. Any coronophiles among you will want to take a look.

(Attention eclipse-virgins: this is about as close to naked-eye view as you're likely to see anyplace without going to the real thing.)

The next earlier item is on a sadder note...


LeafStanley Kubrick 
(1928 - 1999)

On Sunday morning, March 7th 1999, Stanley Kubrick, one of the world's finest filmmakers, died in his bed of a heart attack. A sad loss to all of us. I worked with him, composing and performing much of the music score for "A Clockwork Orange", and "The Shining", and wanted to include on my site some personal memories and observations of those collaborations.

Read them HERE.

--Wendy Carlos / April 1999

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hear ye

LeafGo Bake a Tape
(or, Tron lives!)

There's an important, and even frightening story behind the scenes of some of our master tapes, including those for the soundtrack to Disney's TRON.

Read the whole story HERE.

--Wendy Carlos / Feb 1999

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