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An Open Letter
Part Four
to those who have written,
and other site visitors

(This part was last updated: April 24, 2000. Newest additions near bottom. The open letter is continued in Part Five, which was begun in July 2002. )

Here is Part Four of the Open Letter, containing collected feedback with all of you site surfers. Some of you have suggested it ought be split into "Rant & Raves", and other similar (alliterative?) ruminations, but this would lose for me the temporal continuity. I may eventually go for such methods in reorganizing this admittedly chaotic collection of thoughts. The necessary "spare time" (wazzat?) that would take has been but a dream the past two years. Well enough to get the whole website rebuilt and greatly expanded. Thanx to many of you who wrote with compliments.
For now, let's continue to use a more calendar-based approach. All the comments prior to August 1996 will be found in Part One. And those added up through November 1997 will be in Part Two, and through January 1999 in Part Three. This will continue as a fourth part. I'll put in the current list of Gold Leaf Awards (for those who located the SOB 2000 album's single Moog sound) as before, to the top of the newest open letter. Other added-on new material goes near/at the end, so read from the top down for the original written order.

Please note, as before, that for the latest information on upcoming release, look to the Recent News page, not here. Sometimes the two will overlap, but we will try to place the appropriate items in the appropriate locations!

red leaf Open Letter 3 was last added to so long ago, it's difficult to try to get the idea rolling again. Let me go through the enormous stack of printed message from you collected over the past year. I'll jump around to the most interesting questions, and get back to others when I can. Over this past year I've been surprised to read that several of you actually expect me to publish the answer on that mild puzzle of the single Moog sound in S-OB 2000. Goodness griefness, why ruin it henceforth for anyone else who might enjoy the not unintelligent challenge? I can't come up with a "sound of the month" puzzle, you know. So while I do appreciate that it's frustrating to wish to know a "secret" sans effort, and have many such that I carry around with me in hopes of discovering the answer some day, your request seems out of place and not sporting.
There have been others who did find the correct answer, the first of these having been mentioned in the earlier Open Letters. I'll be adding some newer winners here below as I find their names again. Congratulations to all of you who looked, just for making the effort. (One of you recently made the suggestion that it might be the tuned noise in the new "Jesu, Joy of." Sorry, but that would be too nearly an exact match, as the digital tuned noise is essentially the same sound as I used to get on the old Moog. The real answer is much more idiomatically "Moog-y, a much fairer challenge;!")To those who found the not so difficult note and wrote me here, we extend to you the Gold Leaf Award of being published here, for the whole world to see you're both perceptive and intelligent, and didn't give up until you'd figured it out (another one adorns the bottom of this letter, in fact). Good lessons to be learned here, don't you think?!
red leaf
It was odd to receive a bit of worn-out praise for the standard 12-tone tuning this year. It really can't help but to come across as wasted effort, like the expression, "kicking a dead horse". Of course the standard scale is not bad. It was a pretty good compromise when it evolved more for pragmatic reasons than any special qualities it had. It added nearly nothing to the sounds of music, though it was less offensive than some of the other choices that could have been made at the time.
It took many years to evolve, too, so how bad could it be? And SO WHAT?! The need for the compromise is way past being a convincing argument these days. The new technologies easily handle just about any scheme one might want to try out, at very little cost or effort. It just takes a bit of knowledge to know what looks like a reasonable plan to try, and some work and time to get it operating. If the equipment doesn't care, doesn't require arbitrary limitations as the E.T. scale certainly imposes, why should we? Why be stuck in a well worn rut?
You can explore two other worlds: the nearly perfectly tuned worlds of just intervals, and variations and clever temperaments that measure themselves against the just intervals, or any arbitrary alternative system one can imagine, including scales better suited to unusual timbres and sounds, which don't happen to work well with the just intervals. Very eclectic possibilities here, and like sampling the cuisine's from around the world, the best that every civilization has to offer, and it seems to me the height of laziness or narrow-mindedness to avoid these deliberately. Where is the curiosity? Life is filled with so many new horizons to explore -- so why remain for your whole life at home?! I just don't get it.
Yes, if you find many of the explorations come up short, that's the way it's always been. You have to search in 100 places to find one or two worth keeping. Is this so bad? Isn't it worth it? Isn't this a neat way to expand your musical ideas, and possibly come up with truly original footsteps uniquely your own? It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can continue to use the 12-tone E.T. too, but of course. Room for many options. Okay, this is directed mainly to the composers among you who read this, but like any convincing "pep-talk", it's deeply felt, and a fun one to trumpet out about. The new world of alternate ways of tuning is simply one of those ideas whose time has come. Give it a try (the water's fine, come on in)!
red leaf
It was very thoughtful of many of you to send pieces of software, images, poems, url's for files to download. Most of the time I can open images in jpeg or gif or PICT format easily. I have no PC Wintel machines here, so if the file you wish to send is a ". EXE" or ".XYZ", I probably won't be able to open it. Just tell me what it was, that'll be fine. I don't have time to visit many website, especially large, detailed sites (like this one, my gosh -- how hypocritical to complain! ;^), and seldom browse for the hell of it. More often I go grab what I need, some file a collaborator has posted just for me, or some OS updates or to search for specialized information, like tech or science stuff. So don't be disappointed that I will probably not be able to go look through all your treasures now up on the web. It IS wonderful, though, isn't it, to be able to indulge in such democratic, international sharing of info and a bit of ourselves, too?!
red leaf
It is rather frustrating to receive the same oft-repeated message, asking when will such and such a recording be available again, like S-OB, W-TS, or Tron, most often. I have really tried, especially the last three years, both to answer those questions, and (more important) to push to get the remasterings and new albums out there. Rarely is such a question not already answered on the pages of this site. Check the Discography page and its related pages linked from there, and check the News page or the Old News page. The answers such as I know them are laid bare for anyone to read. (P.S. How many other composers do you know of who make the effort to be web-helpful? :^)
Recognize that the originating artist of most music recordings sits near the bottom of the "pecking-order." We have very little to say about the quality of pressings and printings, the availability of our CD's in stores and on websites, and the ads that show up or lack of same. It frustrates me how little my very loud and logically argued suggestions or complaints become reflected by reality. I already know there are problems. I know that web stores are sometimes careless about your orders, and you may have to call them a couple of times when they do not get a CD you ordered promptly sent to you, most annoying. We've added several suggestions (on the discography page) about buying music on the web. Take a look.
I'm but one solitary composer who tries to wear many hats, and falls always behind the stack of things to be done. One hat I have not the time for is "librarian." If you have research you need to do, for a project, a dissertation, a term paper, whatever, please do go and do it the best you can. I can't answer the many requests to evaluate projects you may have, a musical or tech query. Sadly, I might be both unqualified and very wrong if I sent you my opinions. If some idea really won't let you alone, the best way to exorcise the itch is to follow it up, investigate and do your best to test the concept, like a prototype or sketch. You'll find out more by the actual "doing" if it's a good idea. The best advice is almost always: Go For It!" Life frequently does that to me, just like most of you. As Arthur C. Clarke has said (to paraphrase) ideas are in no short supply -- it's the actual labor, the following through, that in the end determines which ones are worthwhile, which are not. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and give it a try!
red leaf
A similar frustration comes about in managing files to download on the web. I've have more than my share of wasted days trying to get some individual item to download to everyone who might want to go get it from the Resources page on our site. Over the past few years we've learned some of the pitfalls, and have gotten better about supporting PC users as well as the Mac, which we are far more familiar with. Sometimes just the attempt to upload a simple file breaks it. Dunno why. Other times a file that has been fine for several months suddenly won't download for someone. I think there are temporal bugs and glitches that can sabotage the occasional attempt, but not always, and not democratically to everyone.
My more web/net savvy friends have often tried to help on this, and I have learned a lot from them. Gradually I hope the software and standards we all have will become more aware of other "ways to do the same thing", and allow easier interchange of formats and content. But why would a Stuffit file sometimes work, and other times come up with a broken icon, when it's being run on a Mac, just as I've used to stuff and upload the file? No idea. It's usually worse with DOS platforms, and in between for Wintel machines. After you've written and I've taken a couple of evenings to attempt to fix what I often can't detect while taking all reasonable steps to recode and rebuild and upload, and still it will not work for you, please just chalk it up as another bit of Net Chaos in Action (Chaos at work and play to make the Universe a Better Universe, for All Mankind, on Earth as it is on Venus, in sickness and in health, ah nuts...! ;-)
red leaf
The new release of the Switched-On Boxed Set has caused a few more adventurous souls to ask if any versions of these masters in surround sound will be made available. The terse answer is "yes". But there are a few important things to bear in mind, and were the main reason we went ahead with so many months of work to produce the new definitive set in regular stereo first. Let me quote here two paragraphs that go into this topic better, from the DiscNotes page:
"Eventually (perhaps soon, now that the standards seem to be in place) surround sound on DVD will be a popular medium for home music delivery. The good news is that the third and fourth disks of the Bach collection (S-OB II and the Brandys) are now preserved in superb 20-bit surround master transfers (20-bit audio's cool), from which the ultra-stereo two track CD versions on the new boxed set were made. So those will lend themselves neatly to 5.1 or whatever versions quite nicely. Switched-On Bach I was mastered in two track stereo, but a couple of years later got the early quad treatment, too. We made careful new mixes at CBS's bequest. But that mastering was released in their phony-quad system: SQ, if only for a couple of years in the early '70's. We will evaluate if that mix lives up to our usual standards, and also how greatly it may differ from the original we're all used to.
"The Well-Tempered Synthesizer was never mastered to anything but two channels. Evenso, we have the original multitrack tapes, so it might be reasonable to do new surround mixes, which would allow ALL the Switched-On Boxed Set music to become surround-ready, if you'd permit the fact that the first two will not be exactly the same in balances on every line and part to the originals (this is why the Boxed Set MUST be made available first as the best possible version of the original masters, for historical reasons. Other versions can then follow, as interest demands.)"

You may smile when I tell you I wanted to release everything in surround sound originally, but was forced to respect realities of the slowness of technological progress of some kinds, and that there are many good reasons to work towards both regular stereo as well as surround releases. I hate it myself when I find I have to purchase double or triple inventory of favorite films or CD's, and would never freely impose that cheap trick on those who collect my music. Things are not always so straightforward. As the ability to make the home listening experience approach closely to what we hear in the studio, you must expect that our current formats are slowly obsoleted by newer, eventually better methods.
CD's took a while to reach their now excellent quality. Compare any LP, cassette or early 8-track copies you can find of my CBS released albums, with ESD's recent CD remasterings. Can any honest, undogmatic individual reasonably claim that the old versions sound better than the new? I do wish we could have had such quality available back in the 70's, when it was frustrating to hear what the LP or bulk dupe copies finally released sounded like. We spent weeks to do the best we could, and that was that. There was no way to put out recordings with depth and subtlety intact on a format that most people could play, not without losing a good 25-35% of the master's quality. Now we lose next to nothing (if you know what you're doing).
The CD is a marvelous medium, but what's next? No, I'm afraid the silliness over 24-bit audio is mainly hyperbole. I'll go into the reasons at another time. More misleading (reasons later) is the completely idiotic plans to "update" to 96 kHz sampling, or the even more whacko value just double that, of 192 kHz! What a waste of bits! (If you really want to double the rate, what about 2 x 44.1 = 88.2 kHz? The artifacts of going from 96 to 44.1 for CD release is much worse than simply recording in 44.1 at the outset. Mastering at 88.2, on the other hand, would make ever more sense.) These are exactly the issues no one is talking about. The BS gets escalated to try to coerce us all into buying what will make no audible improvement of any kind, save junque-science fantasy. How about some double-blind A/B proof (not rigged a priori demos), and spare the sales pitch!
Want a wiser plan? Let's put the generous space on DVD's where it'll make the greatest audible impact: multichannels. Not an original suggestion that, but it's still the truth. 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 8 channels would make an immediate impression of MUCH better sound, even with the same speaker quality and everything else. I'm not guessing about this, I've made the comparisons over and over for 40 years, and will easily stake my reputation on this. I can't wait to put out most of my catalog and newer music on a multichannel medium. We'll get back to this again frequently in the next couple of years. It'll be cutting edge stuff shortly, little surprise. Stay tuned!

red leafThe covers on the first several CBS albums were done with little or no input from Rachel Elkind or me. At least we were pleased to learn that the very professional team (then very popular among the cognates) of Horn & Griner would be doing the work. So the gaffes with the first cover (no patch cords, no output cable, etc.) were matters we grimaced about, too. I think by now I can safely say I outgrimaced the best of you -- honk, honk!
I have no idea whose Moog III portable synth was used on those covers. We were told it was rented. CBS did purchase such a unit, so it also may have been theirs. That one was used only one time I know of, for the making of the decent Andy Kazdin/Tom Shepard LP: "Everything You Ever Wanted to Hear on the Moog (but were afraid to ask)", although there may have been one or two others. I had nothing to do with these projects, although I used to enjoy chatting with Andy, who often was at work in the CBS studios when I was there for final masterings. That Moog was likely sold off later, so some of you may have indeed found photos of the same one. Be aware, though, that Bob used to place very similar Dymo labels on most of the units from that period, so looks can be deceiving, as many looked nearly identical. I never used this synth, and it was in no way involved with the sounds on any of my albums.
In the mid-80's one summer I happened to be attending the lovely rooftop wedding of Ivan Berger and Roberta Thumin. Among the guests I chatted with a woman who told me she had been the source of the cute white Persian cat that appeared on the cover. He was a gentle soul, very suited to the rigors of posing for the many hours it had taken (don't try it with most Siamese...) She had been at the shooting, something I sighed to learn about so many years later -- wish I could have been, too. It was a smile just the same. By then the old dear had passed into the happy sunning grounds, but his image will live on.
red leaf
Many, many of you have written to say you were touched to read about some of the critters with whom I've shared my loft, including the pains of saying goodbye. Please know I understand, the empathy works both ways. And thank you for taking the time to write me about this. It may be fashionable in America to scoff at everything tender and close, like the friendships we have with our pets. This is usually only a mask for deeper emotions that are easier denied than acknowledged. To all our lost friends, we'll never forget you. We may have given you a home, food, clean box/paper, health care, and a warm place to sleep, but you gave us your entire life and trust, and we're grateful.
red leaf
Some of you appear to be true Coronaphiles, and have written with lively tales of your own experiences chasing this most staggeringly beautiful and dramatic of nature's spectacles. Thanx for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm with me about this site's Solar Eclipse page.
I've been asked recently about prints of eclipse images. Right now I have simply no way to provide hardcopy of these challenging images. I do appreciate that many of you would love to have such prints -- I would myself, to tell the truth! I have at best a few 8" x10" color prints of each corona, while the best images are stored in the computers. With the advent of such technology as the photo quality inkjet printers by such companies as Epson, I've been staggered by the ease, cost, and high quality of prints one can make at home (if only they didn't fade). So eventually when I get past other time-sensitive matters, I'll consider making prints both for myself and for sale, if there is still sufficient interest. I may also consider the frequent suggestion to assemble a book with photo quality prints and expanded texts describing the chase of each eclipse, how the images were made, for each full page reproduction.
Right now that's a hazy plan/idea I would need assistance to pull off. I apologize to those who have written expecting that it was a "given" that I could provide prints of any of the coronae depicted on this site. Were that were true (why can't you make me a print? You compose music, that's nearly the same thing!). If and when the situation changes, as if some publisher showed an interest and ability to assist, I'll let you know. As I get older the one common "enemy", as many of you know, is "time." When I think about writing a book, making prints, remastering of an album, or even adding new pages to my Open Letters, or anything else added to this site: it's the same thought: how much time will it take? I can't spare the time I'd like in making custom prints now. To charge enough to make it remotely worthwhile would cost you more than I think would be fair. A stalemate. Stay tuned if any way "past the impasse" can be worked out.
For the moment, my cordial thanks for your interest and requests. These images have taken a LOT of time and effort to do (it's not as easy as it may look), and I'm glad others see the results as justification of the means to get there. I wish it were a straightforward thing to describe, "recipe style", how to make such images. But, as explained on the eclipse page, this is far from honest. Nevertheless, in answer to the pleas of two good eclipse-chasing friends, I wrote a couple of e-mails that lay out the kind of tasks and approach needed. Perhaps I'll edit them into shape to add to the site. But then please don't complain how "open-ended" and unalgorithmic it will probably seem to be!
red leaf
Yes, it is true there was a 7" LP included with the By Request album on its initial release. We had little at all to do with that, although Rachel did provide some of the graphics elements for them, and I helped by making a few copies of the masters for them. It was really nothing much to speak of, just the usual way a record company might promote other albums by an artist, to tie them together better in the mind of the purchasers.
There were six of our earlier albums represented on the 7" sampler: two short selections from By Request itself, one each from S-OB (an excerpt) and S-OB II, one short work from W-TS, our score to CO, and another excerpt from SS (please check the discography page if these abbreviations are unfamiliar to you). Mini photos of the LP covers and their catalog numbers were included, so if any selection caught a listener's fancy, they could find the whole thing. The same sampler was also handed out at a few trade shows. It's a fine promotional idea, but not something historically of any real importance. If I did omit mention of it on the site so far, that's the only reason why.
red leaf
Isn't this something? I've gotten two letter from folks who just wanted to thank me for retitling "Clockwork Black" sans any mention of the word, "Mass". They both say it really would have been insensitive to include it, from their point of view and from their family and friends. Thank you for saying so. I've said it before, but I certainly have no desire to offend any of you, and remain very much neutral on all such topics, perhaps just a stubborn old Yankee agnostic, so sue me.
Anyway, high moral standards don't require establishments, a certainty in belief or dogma. Just being an empathetic humanist ought be sufficient. I've recently read that one listener misunderstood parts of Tales of Heaven and Hell as suggesting I harbor religious hang-ups. Sounds to me like a case of what's called: "projection." (That ink blot isn't either an orchid; it's the Devil! ;^) C'mon, this road works both ways -- please don't try to offend me, now! No reason to offend anyone gratuitously, if you can avoid doing same. Remember the High Lama in the classic Capra film, "Lost Horizon", suggesting the simplest Golden Rule of all: "be kind." I had good reason in the case of that title to believe this might be such a case, and simply changed it.
red leaf
Yeay! I've gotten the first several message about mapping, projections, and making. The Mapping page was added early this year (1999), with a good starting collection, and more to come. Neat change of pace from music and audio and physics and eclipses and pets, to get these letters. I've read the suggestions a few of you made on criteria on new projections with great interest. Yas, I think some of these ideas are fascinating, indeed. It all makes me want to get back to that, which I have planned now for a few years. Glad to discover many of you share in the love of maps and how they are made. Thanx for writing!
red leaf
I see that others of you either share in my earlier desperation about older audio tape instabilities, and also in finding ways to make them playable again. The ideas on silica gel for storage are warmly acknowledged, like going to a garden shop of a department store to find some dried gel, which works well as a desiccant when NOT mixed with potting soil! Clever, thank you.
red leaf
I receive overly flattering comments occasionally, like one from a teacher recently, this time quoting a bright student's question. My Yankee Skepticism forces me to duck queries and immodest comments of this kind as patently silly. With considerable discomfort I'll try to reply thoughtfully to a youngster who intended no harm. The question was something like, "what does it feel like to have made such an impact in music?" My first reaction was instant and automatic: "HA! Right. Sure." To be completely candid, this is fantasy or PR. It's but human nature to smile at the occasional compliment -- I don't mind sincere applause any more than the next person. On rare occasions I've been asked to appear on stage or in front of mike or camera, and quite enjoying making a fool of myself, why not?
But I have no illusions that most of what passes as "greatness" or "genius" is ephemeral. If after several decades go by there is a tad of shadow left that you helped to put there, it ought certainly be enough. An avid reader, I know what the real great people have done, the contributions made. Compared to them, my stuff is mostly chicken feed, a lonesome artist scratching away in the desert, irrelevant to the world in general, and most of the world of music. So what? If I were "famous", would that make me a good person? It's near madness to wish to be "a star", instantly recognized on every street corner, a proof of vanity or unresolved egocentricity. Do your best because to do less makes what you do worth less. Search for answers because you are curious to learn the truth. It's fun to figure things out. It's also fun to hear (or see) something you've made that comes out kind of well. That's why if you're human you try to do it even better the next time!
It's showoff fun to let others experience carefully chosen snippets of what you've been doing that came out well (like Ravel, I hide my "work sheets" and all "trail of blood" mistakes and false starts), and watch them enjoy it, too! It's a real hoot to try to work a few minor ideas together and have it sometimes all fall in place in the heat of inspiration, almost as if that right-hemisphere mode steered you into things you never knew could exist. This is why teaching yourself how to do creative work is so human, so rewarding, for it's own sake, as many of you know. If you get a bit of applause along the way, smile, acknowledge the giants on whose shoulders you stand, take in the brief experience while it happens and in retrospect. Cool. Now get back to work!
Even at its best, this still ought not be the only thing that makes you tick, any more than doing anything you spend a lot of your life working on to be better than average will hence define who you are. Think about that. It should be but one part of your whole. Yet these are wonderful, challenging targets, and we all ought work to develop one or two of them in our lives if we can, if we are lucky. The effort is still worth making, even when we may fall short. A great sadness fills me when I read the news and magazines and discover how few young people have been taught/encouraged to pursue activities for excellence's sake, who will stick with such challenges long enough to gather some expertise. Consider how the Big Bucks have harmed The Olympic Games since the mid-80's, when it went "showbiz!" Honest goals of achievement fit our human nature, hand in glove. We were NOT born greedy, to be "the best known person in the world", the richest, or the "best-looking." Our goals ought go deeper than that (even when we're not ugly... ;^)
It seems that there have never been more tools available to make the path simpler and less tedious than ever before. But what the tools more often are used for is plain old vanity and greed, well, DOH!. Our sophisticated means are so often wasted on the laziest cliches, led not by an inner vision or idea, but by what's fast and easy and obvious. I'm embarrassed to be a part of it. A large chunk of the professional musical world lowers it's standards ever and ever downwards to reach the widest possible, lowest common denominator audience. It has sadly succeeded, while becoming sterile and devoid of all art and artistry -- a grand nihilism, all so a few more dollars can be made (let's put the "C" back on Rap). Just don't forget the "Law of Strawberry Jam", which states: "the wider a culture is spread, the thinner it gets."
On the other hand, if any few of my works have helped a few young people to avoid these vanities, and to try to do their best to carry on the next inevitable steps after those of my generation are long gone, then THAT would justify it all for me. Otherwise, I think the values I have always tried to instill in my music, especially in the electroacoustic arts I'm most often associated with, have been largely ignored or forgotten. Damn. Music has seldom been at such a low, groveling level, often perverted by the likes of quantized drum machines, one of the most destructive influences of our era, teaching a generation that stiff, mechanical, unfelt streams of notes is "unbad." (Turn the crank some more, pa, we're on a roll tonight!) It hurts to remember the efforts we had to go through to insert some human performance value and "feel" into our earliest albums, essential lessons now forgotten. This certainly proves how minuscule is any effect I might have had.
Nevertheless, thank those of you who share in an appreciation of the mere act of trying to do something very well. I've always been obsessive about my work, worrying every damned molecule into oblivion, while trying to remain true to our human spirit and compassion, romanticism and, dare I say it, sentimentality? Don't forget drama, even if only of the "mello" persuasion. Those things drove and do drive me. Sure, we hope the current media will preserve our recordings for some years to come, that our efforts will not be too soon forgotten. It's always a matter of luck if what you try to do "makes it" or not (we need luck, but of course can't take credit for luck when it happens). Let's see what the luck of time decides in the long run, before getting too excited here and now, okay?
One final thought: most people stuck being real artists automatically are preoccupied not with anything that they have done in the past, but what they're working on now. It's always been that way, and perhaps it's a good thing. Moves us forward, even if art itself does not actually move, actually progress (is Bartok a "better" composer than Bach in having been born later? Or Stravinsky compared with Mozart? Ridiculous questions!). It's been one of the follies of the 20th century that so many of us have been told "important art must progress," like the medical sciences, say, that older ideas are obsoleted by the newer. Bunch of "BS-de-Jour", don't you beleive it. But as individuals we do move forward and learn and grow and alas, sometimes forget, too. It's been rather fun doing so many remasterings for ESD, as it forced me to look back where I'd never have done so on my own. Not too painful, most of it. But I can't wait to get moving ahead with some new music soon, you know?
I guess somewhere in this messy stream of thought lies what I'd try to reply to your students who even care about this stuff. I seldom think on such topics. I'm sorry I don't have the time go make it clearer and briefer, and cut to the bone of the matter. But perhaps you can read this and distill some kind of reasonable reply, with my thanks!
red leaf
Yes, I've finally determined that CBS/Sony has indeed deleted (!) the Peter and the Wolf parody I did in the late '80's with Al Yankovic (dunno why, but I still have trouble calling him "weird", when I just found him to be bright, witty, and a bit shy, sorry to blow your image, Al, there was nothing that weird I noticed! ;-). So sorry about that -- not in my control. It appears to have taken place in early 1999. Heard about it only from some of you at last (for which, thank you). No need to write us with this news again.
I can't suggest how to get copies of it right now. But I'll ask ESD to look into putting a remastered version out, if that can be arranged. I'm often bamboozled by the effort it takes to make such straightforward suggestions as this take place, become reality. Legal problems or people who are intractable or indifferent or greedy can topple a whole house of cards. Stay tuned and we'll look into it.
red leaf
Thanks to those who love the Living Page concept as we do. Feel free to borrow the icon (the small one is on the index or homepage) and idea for you own use, and you're welcome!
red leaf
Thanks to those who have written to say you enjoy my original compositions, besides the more famous transcriptions I've become indellibly associated with. "Different strokes" is cool; even cooler those who comfortably walk both paths, enjoy both kinds of music, old and new. Kind of you to let me know you more versatile fans are out there!
red leaf
The year 1999 also marks the first time I've gotten letters from a few of you about Planetaria, another topic with more than a mild passion for me I made three planetarium projectors when I was a teenager, the third, which was interrupted by college, had a chance at being pretty okay, with aluminum construction, twinkling stars, a real dome. Never completed. I built it in my tolerant parent's basement, with physical models of the horizon buildings in the neighborhood -- but that's a long story. Seems a collection of these topics and interests must naturally overlap for many of you. I've recently received letters that suggest many of you have also noticed this, sunnuva gun!
Received also the first letters which are from others of you who also share my outrage over the credit for music making going to the tool, not the artist who uses the tool. Jeepers. That's a fairly recent bit of disturbing misperception. We encountered it with the earliest Moog, with a great many persons crediting the synthesizer for the performances on S-OB. Hell, even CBS was absurdly and disrespectively "out of it" when they signed the machine (yes!), not us, on that first album. Can you believe it?! (No urban legend, the same nonsense goes on to this day. An excellent artist I know tells me would-be students frequently ask her just what kind of airbrush makes all those cool results in her paintings -- as if one could "purchase some medium sized skill with an accessory box of talent, how much...?!")

Y2K Bugs and other Millennial Topics

red leafSeems reasonable to include here a few predictions I've been making to anyone foolish enough to bring up this topic with me during the past year. First, the so-called Y2K Bug will shortly be proven to be 99 44/100% hype, a Pseudobug, if there ever were one ('course you haven't met my cousin, Ralph). Let's emulate Jonathan Swift, and herewith make a modest proposal: all the "experts", and authors of those 3" thick (!) expensive books, ought be forced to wear large badges which proudly proclaim: "Y2B a Bug Like Me ($)" during all of 2000, as they stole from the gullible, preying on their technophobia and paranoia.
Yes, there will be cases of certain computers, older mainframes or machines based on 70's designs, that are no longer able to be used until a work around patch is installed, perhaps in the BIOS (bright folks have been working on these bugs and other potential roll-over problems for many months -- thanks, you've all done well!). Guess I ought not assume that just because I was stubborn enough to stick with the often disparaged Macintosh (which has no problem -- I checked), those who chose Wintel will be so happy. A large proportion of PC's will need fixing, as, let's face it, their internal ROMs and clocks were lamely designed (hey, remember those absurd and sloppy math errors generated by many PC's only a few years ago? Don't you smell a tad of indifference and contentiousness here?)
Let's also note the demise of a favorite weather site so handy to grab fast loading text summaries of the current weather. This site (cirrus, at the University of Michigan) stopped just a couple of days ago (around Xmas), since the computer it used was not Y2k compliant and had to be shut down, as they have no funds (!) to make it operable again. Too bad, I'll miss those efficient reports, since now only cluttered, slower html versions are available on the web... *sigh*. This is a good example to bring up here of a real world Y2k bug, in contrast to all the media palaver that has now reached it's hysterical peak. Be grateful for 1/1/00 just to have them STOP -- enough, all ready!
Are there really any readers of this who expect to see planes falling from the sky (as in a recent episode of "The Simpsons"), and water and power extinguished, no food available in markets, automobiles inoperable, or phones and cable TV become nostalgic memories? Won't happen, no way, to be reasonable and non-hysterical about it. Like the infamous false predictions of blind "seers" of Jeanne Dixon's ilk, the baloney will be blithely forgotten in a couple of days, while the faithful remain ever gullible to be taken-in another day. So it goes.
Corollaries are easy to find: expect no Judgment Day or End of the World of any kind to occur as the big odometer rolls over. Nor will it happen when the 2000th of AD years reaches an end and third Millennium's Odyssey begins for real, on 1/1/2001, just as Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick told us it would! (For the mass of Innummerates out there, "Happy Newman Ellium"... remedial counting lessons to be scheduled shortly... ;-) Speaking of which, here's something to ask your friends: "When you count your fingers, do you include the final, 10th digit, or stop after counting the 9th?" and: "Can I pay back a $100 loan from you with $99?"

Stop Press: This P.S. is added on 1/1/00 (wotta cool looking date!): All the above modest predictions have been borne out in reality, and no Y2k disasters of any size have occurred, no sensationalist reports, even on the Hypevision Quasinews Media. (Not one piece of equipment in my loft/studio had any problem at all, for example, including old VCR's and camcorders.) Hope you weren't suckered in.
Let's not waste this check on reality, and cognize that here's proof why genuine skepticism is a VERY good thing to possess in today's world. Go on, doubt at least one improbable thing a day: doomsdayists, conspiracy theorists (how about Conspiracy Science, to match "Creationist Science", that embarrassment to the Kansas Oxymorons et al?), psi and bent spoon practitioners (practition makes perfect?), and all Roswellians at large or small.
Good for you, good for me; skepticism sets us free.
(Pardon that doggerel -- I got carried away there, won't let it happen again...)
BTW-- I don't mean to imply any disrespect for the hardworking teams of you who helped avoid the more specific elements of disaster which would have occurred had we remained completely unprepared around the globe. Your joy of satisfaction ought come in seeing just how successful those intelligent efforts turned out to be.
It's still too early to report no "End of the World" has occurred, either, although many dogmatically blessed groups are warning their misguided flocks that this will assuredly occur this month, so it is written.
Well, it didn't happen by mid-January, and counting.
(Don't hold your breath.)

red leafWe've gotten a few questions about the covers of the individual albums that contained the LP versions of music now collected and optimized on the Switched-On Boxed Set. I suppose in a pedantic way we were not being completely accurate to suggest these were "originals." Is that "original originals", or just "originals?" It's just like the dozens of Original Ray's Famous Pizza restaurants in NYC...! The first SOB pressings didn't even have an artist credit on the cover, that took over a year (don't forget, they had signed the M-o-o-g originally, not us!). It (originally) said: "Performed on the Moog Synthesizer." From 1969 for the next half-dozen years, due to strong pressures from others, credit lines were falsified, and I winced over each bogus pseudonym continued for their selfish reasons, and for the faked image they insisted would "sell better." (BS.) We halted the travesty on all new and older albums (repressings) in the late 70's, over 20 years ago.
The original cover reproductions were often of mediocre quality, which cried out for improvement when the boxed set was assembled. I spent days on the first two, tweaking colors and contrast, eliminating artifacts of too much masking -- ugh! So these are not exactly the original originals (they're closer to the original, original original slides, however!). The covers for the third and fourth LP albums are currently clouded in some snarled legal issues, so we made our own new versions, which captured the idea and spirit of those you've grown familiar with, but avoided these issues. "If wishes were horses, beggars..." uh sorry, reality often intervenes in each desire to be perfect...
Our reconstructions certainly are decent, and more than adequately conjure up those originals, with some flair and image panache, I hope. Pardons to those who disagree. But -- as I pointed out earlier, "as the artist I outrank you..." I'm quite pleased with the final compromises, the necessary stylized solutions we came up with, and beg your indulgence to try not to be too disturbed by such secondary issues. Besides, a detailed history is too convoluted and ultimately, oxymoronically, irrelevant. It ought be the music that counts.
And for the music on all the CD's, as I tried to point out in the notes, we took great pains to remain completely faithful to the original mixes (the original, original originals), even where those were necessarily modified to fit the restraints of cutting physical grooves of an LP. If any "compromise" on the music is to be found, it was back then: all the LP's up until the boxed set were inadequate reflections of the intended (original original) masters. What you will hear on the new four CD's IS what we originally recorded. Any tinkerings done for the set were only to make the final reproduction as clean, pure and free of needless blemishes as could be done without harm. With the current state of the art, that's quite wonderful: essentially no audible compromise I can find. You ought notice these improvements right away, given good ears and equipment. If not, compare (if you dare) with any LP, cassette or previous CBS/Sony version CD. I rest my case.
A couple of you have written to ask about which cover of S-OB I was the original original: the sitting/mugging or standing elegantly pose. Isn't it obvious? Why would we have preferred to make a joke of our hard work? It was the other way around, as the "joke" CBS first thought they had in S-OB began to be taken seriously by a LOT of people. A better cover image was called for. In the Boxed Set's bigger book the tale of that initial, thankfully short-lived cover is presented (also on the enhanced-CD files of Disk IV).
BTW, to jump to a related topic, yes, the initial batch of By Request albums sent to the UK had Rachel's and my tongue in cheek Elgar-parody (Pompous Circumstances) replaced by a few tracks borrowed from The Well-Tempered Synthesizer. Later copies in the UK occasionally were the US version, I've been told. But I found only the abridged versions at the HMV store in Oxford Street when we were in London to score Kubrick's "The Shining". That would be very early 1980. It's the first time I actually SAW (and bought) one of the cowardly pressings, although we were told it would probably happen that way during the initial release, but CBS never sent us one. (Of course.)
Speaking of the UK, allow me to apologize for the way record companies in the States tend to be damn tardy in supplying music on US releases anywhere else. I have never had any control of that, as with most things on the business side (I'm just an artist! ;^). So I find myself constantly surprised and angry when I learn how poor the distribution is in all other countries. (You have no idea how difficult it is these days to get market penetration of ANY kind in the US, to put things in perspective!) But I have brought up this topic with ESD, and have been told that things will get better starting soon (they've explained how difficult things have gotten across the board). I can only try my best from this side. Perhaps those gifted with diplomatic and forceful skills of description and persuasion ought write to the companies too, the distributors, even complain at a store level. Insist on getting CD's by artists you enjoy which happen to be near impossible to find (it's not much better here).
As the Web becomes more an important part of music purchasing power, this problem will become bypassed, and the ill-will and contempt by older merchandisers will be rewarded by their becoming less important, eventually not important at all. It's the usual way arrogance tends to bring about its own downfall, don't you think? (Poetic justice.) But that's still a few years away. I'd suggest ordering albums like mine online. Ordering through a store near you will probably be a LOT slower than having an immediate shipment sent your way via one of the decent alternative carriers. That's usually what we do, even from NYC, you know! (Prices are usually better online, too.)
red leaf
Sunnuvagun... I've recently gotten a few letters from fans like you seriously asking me if I think the early LP albums on CBS were any good. Just my candid opinion: how do I think they hold up compared to the new remasterings, the new Hi-D CD's in particular?
The short answer is: "You must be joking!" I still can't believe we all had to be satisfied with that final release technology (mastering tapes were usually quite decent.) It was always a bitter disappointment for us, often emotionally so, but what choice was there? Each time we came to put out a new album, we faced a difficult struggle, to transfer at least 50-60% of the quality from our master Dolby tapes onto mere LP or prerecorded tape/cassette. We were never completely satisfied, even when we'd reach all the technology could do, and all the engineers at CBS who helped us had taken their best shot. The "good ol' daze" was none too good. I've never understood the lunatic fringe who to this day maintain that this torturous, ancient roller-coaster ride of tiny mechanical stylus trying to follow all the minute undulations of vinyl plastic molded grooves was ever "ideal", and bemoan its demise. I hear there's a big Bridge for sale...
Since I was a cutting engineer for some years in the late 60's, I know of what I speak here. We resorted to many outrageous tricks at times to try to force that dated methodology to be something less than arthritic. It's testament to the skill and patience of many who cut records, built the equipment, that some of them were/are not half bad ("only" 15-25% bad). Comparing that methodology to a properly designed and aligned 20-bit digital recording system is like shooting ducks in a barrel, the elaborate mechanical kludge being the loser.
Save your money on eBay, bidding on and purchasing those old black plastic disks. At least don't expect quality audio, nor an exact match to the original masters, not any I've been involved with. If you need to own these for nostalgia, I won't argue the point. But I can't share your delights that such old pressings sound "great". Consider having your hearing tested ;^). Like most mind-over-matter, we can fool ourselves much easier than most of us realize. Trust the double-blind scientific method, just as we've done, as a check on perceived reality.
Even more important, our newest ESD CD's are not just hit-or-miss transfers to digital of the old mastering tapes used to cut those LP's. I'm not such a fool to spend difficult months trying to do much better than your usual remastering. We've taken the time, made the efforts, in a painstaking attempt to render each master to be as good as it can now be, based on what now exists. You're not "paying for nothing" when you purchase one of these remastered editions: a lot went into it, as high-quality sound is no accident.
We ought repeat an important distinction here: the source tapes we used are not the "mastering" copies (read: limited, compressed and EQed) as fed the LP cutting lathes, but are the first generation master mixes, the moment the music was "locked down" in a final take. No new mixes have been made: these are more authentic and genuinely original than you ever heard before! In the end I do expect, or at least hope, that the more golden eared among you, using good equipment, will notice and enjoy the improvements, even the subtler ones. In careful A/B comparisons it really is quite obvious here.
Early cassettes and prerecorded tapes made by CBS can sound a bit better than the LP's in certain (not all) ways. But in order to manufacture these (profitably) in large quantity, 3-4 extra generations of dubbing were necessary, and the finals were made at very high speed. This added its own problems of frequency response and slew limiting, etc., not to mention tape hiss (yes, even with Dolby B). This is why those pirated "Tron" (and a few others) CD's sound so lame: they're just dubs of mediocre cassettes. I have heard a few better sounding cassettes from the 80's, at least better than those earliest years, so they did improve somewhat. Even LP's got better near their end (cutting copper blanks helped a lot), albeit with the same surface blemishes and other measurable distortions notably on the inner grooves.
Don't just trust me on the matter of audio quality, try comparing for yourself. Be sure to do it double blind: let someone else pick and play the various versions while you just listen without any cues. First balance the levels to be nearly the same, and everything else you can do to get a close match. Find a decent system to listen on, adjust for a moderately loud listening level (but not "blasting"), and then you tell me. Reality. Don't trust your memory, which can be fooled, but play short snippets of 10 seconds or so, immediately comparing back and forth the same spot. Try to be attentive, unprejudiced (dogma please wait outside) and bravely honest. Nu?
Just an aside here. At times I find myself being pushed into a position of metaphorically throwing cold water on some cherished urban legend or another. I wish I could demonstrate proofs to each of you why those notions are not worth the human time and energy they consume, in magazines, the media, and web sites. Eventually the acquire a life of their own, and capture the minds and souls of the unaware. It's such a shame when there are so many more important things to be done in life. This is the case with the continuing sincere but misguided fascination over "Analog vs. Digital." Quite a few of the comments I've made on this site have tried to expose a few similar over inflated conceits. When you look really closely, you discover that unadorned reality is usually the simplest explanation, an example of: "no bigus dealus"!
(Izzit just my phony Latin above that reminds me of that wry scene in Monty Python's hilarious: "The Life of Brian"? You know the scene in which Brian tries to tell the crowd to "buzz off", while they cheerfully proclaim his discarded gourd and accidentally dropped sandal as "holy relics of Jerusalem?" Hmm... with Roswellians, Psychic Channelers, and Multi-conspiracyists on the rise, perhaps reality has finally become the real comedy... or as the Historical Santa Claus once so aptly put it: "Ho, ho, ho!")
red leaf
By the way, I just received a message from a good writer friend who's journalistic skills often cross paths with the fringe right of Gullible's Travels (you may quote me on that). There's apparently a slumbering mess of websites which still preach to the faithful that "digital stresses our nervous systems with it's subliminal strobing of sound," and other hearsay from the early days of digital audio. Yes, it was frequently done poorly when only an infant technology -- have pity, it was just a Baybee! I hoped these "digititis" phobes had followed the progress made since. No such luck. Yas, it is true that digitized anything means the information is broken up into little carefully measured bits, steps. But for digital audio these little measurements stream along at well past our sense organ's (ears, eyes, nose, throat, etcetera) response-ranges to palpate, by a factor of two or more, to double blind repeatable evidence. Have some modesty, we can't detect every potential stimulus out there with our mammalian apparatus, which has, face it, its limits.
But even if this were not the case, the final Digital-to-Analog conversion passes EVERYTHING through a low-pass filter, which smooths and integrates the steps into a continuous signal (no steps whatsoever -- none), exactly as analog. In fact, by then the signal IS analog, that's the whole point. Jeepers, so many pseudo-experts shoot off. But they don't first take the time to learn the facts behind the topic of their worries, before exhibiting themselves in full frontal ignorance. Learn before you speak -- wotta concept!
red leaf
Please note that like most composers of film music, I have essentially no control over my motion picture scores. That's just the way it is: the film studios keep control over every aspect of a film they produce. I guess it makes sense, but it is a big ouch one has to face in that field. Try to understand that unlike the rest of my catalog, which I have now had returned to me (and am now in the process of making really high quality remasterings of them all for you on ESD), I can't force when or where the filmscore music will be made available. Like many of you (perhaps a good deal more ;^), I'd really like to see all my scores out on new Hi-D quality CDs! Is that clear? It's not our fault!
We have been trying to do just that for some months now. But it's difficult to get the studios to share an interest in doing just that. In a few cases the studios report back to us that they can't just go ahead, as they have many other composers who have also been waiting for such a nod, and they can't favor one of us over any other. Grumble, grumble... It's gonna be difficult to get legal permission to put out what we all want. Even more depressing is the discovery that a few dishonest people have rushed in to profit from delays, and have come up with their own homemade pirate versions, which they try to peddle off to you at ridiculous prices as something "collectible". The technical term for these claims is, I believe, b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t. Usually you find them on auction web sites. Don't be fooled, and don't buy some crummy sounding dub someone made from an old prerecorded cassette. It's also breaking the law stealing.
The two albums we are trying to see reach the light of day currently include two we've mentioned on our site several times before: Tron (Disney), and The Shining (Warner Brothers). In case it is not already completely clear, please understand there are NO genuine soundtrack CD's of either TRON or THE SHINING currently available from ANY source, period (ahem.. pardon my purple prose...). That's the simple truth, and it hurts to have to say it (I know, dammit I know, don't rub it in). Any copies you stumble upon, no need to ask us about it, such copies ARE pirated, lo-fi rip-offs of you who naively buy these bogus disks (some are pretty clever, literally "sneak-thieves", kabbish?), and rip-offs of me and all the performers, and all the legal copyright owners.
If you are growing impatient (as are we), rather than sending us another message requesting a CD remastering of "Tron" or "The Shining," why not write to the film company itself? If they realize there IS an honest demand here, that many fans would indeed purchase a legitimate new CD release, it can make it that much easier for us to get the permission to go ahead. I don't have the current names of executives at Disney or Wrn. Bros. who might be approached, but a lot of you are much better detectives than I am, and might figure out a good way to get effective attention of a proper kind. If you should choose to "poke a spot more likely to get results," please be serious, brief, and diplomatic. Thank you if you do try, what's the old line, "to get the mule's attention"...!
Five More Gold Stars (well, more gold leafs, anyhow, and yes, originally they used to be green ;^) make a good way to close this fourth open letter for the time being. Interesting how suddenly the number of winners has jumped up in the past few months. You'll remember we publish these to congratulate the sharp-ears among you who correctly identify the single Moog note in Switched-On Bach 2000.
* The first winner this time is Greg Dolhy, whose server is <bellatlantic.net>. He provides one of the better analyses I've read as to why his answer "must" be the correct one, and he's completely correct. See, it's not all that hard. The rest of you aren't trying hard enough. On the other hand, he reports he got the same kind of satisfaction as solving a Myst puzzle, something I sure don't have the patience for... Oh, well, thanx for the message, and congrats, Greg!
* The second much more recent winner is Peter Onion, whose server in England is <srd.bt.co.uk>. He tells me: "I won't be too upset if I get it wrong ;-)." Guess we won't disappoint your preparations for either win or lose, to announce it IS the former. Hope this will insure (as you suggest it might) your "peace of mind". Congratulations to you, Peter!
(Peter just sent us a note of cheery acceptance of the award, thoughtful of him, thanking the cast, his producer, screenwriter, and parents... *wink*)
* The third winner is Richard DeCosta, who nailed it exactly, with the comment: "Love that (Moog) sound!" He wishes the album had more analog synth sounds on it. I think here I'm the one to "blame". Certain of the newest digital synths are quite capable of producing the same kind of "fat" sound characatures we obtained from the early analog machines, and with a lot more control and reproducability in most cases. But I guess I got completely overdosed early on with these very simple sounds that formed my exclusive pallette, and much as I crave spicy, hot foods I would have been incapable of eating or enjoying when I was younger, my tastes in sounds have become a lot more layered and complex. Still, point well taken, and I will try to include such sounds in the next new projects, as contrast to the richer diet. Might work well together, that. Yeah, stay tuned for initial result observations... ;^)!
* The fourth one is from Ned Wilkinson, who hangs out on the web via AOL. His submission was particulary fun to read, as he described note-by-note, in typed sound alikes and homophones, the exact location for that elusuve Moog note. I wish I could print it verbatim here without giving away the location, with such riveting, onomatopoetic, musictech dialog as:
"(in a medium range)...Dumdiddle dodudohhh, (in a higher range) Dadidoh diddle doh doh daaaaahh!", priceless... Ned, take a bow!  (Note: onomatopoea edited to mislead the gullible...)
* The fifth award winner is from Miles Peters, who lives in Derbyshire, UK (many winners are British, interesting, no?). He seems to have picked up on the correct note while visiting a friend in Germany. They got into a musical discussion, and it led by a logical train of thought to the sounds on S-OB 2k, and just like that, he realized what the Moog sound must be. He suggests it just became obvious. Amen. Just like that. Good going, Miles. And welcome to our small "club"!
I'll try to mention any and all of you who find that one puzzle note. But as mentioned above, there's no cheating, and we won't reveal the answer ahead of time (so please, follow a sense of decorum -- no sweet words and purrs and wagging of tails--don't beg!). That quite a few of you have now hit it, and none of the submitted attempts have been in error, suggests it was a valid challenge, not absurdly hard, but hard enough to provide a genuine listening challenge. Thanks to you all for taking the time to try our little aural/musical Sherlocking.
red leaf
I'm already aware of most of the ways images of eclipses can be further "processed" to exaggerate some property or another. So tricks like duplicating layers in PhotoShop and then multiplying them together are not particularly interesting, at least to me (bit of the old: been there, done that). You may not realize that such steps are often just the equivalent of exaggerated settings in the adjustment windows, such as Levels or Curves. My goal has always been to produce near-naked eye views of eclipses, and you may safely assume I've tried the various adjustments already over many weeks, and selected the ones that satisfy this condition best.
Certainly if you have need for exaggerated views of some coronal (or other) feature over another property, you might wish to try "enhancing" such images. Some results can be interesting, at least at first glance. Others may be more suitable for study and feature dissection, even though they are very far from naked eye. The worst type, IMHO, is the overdoing of either Contrast or Unsharp Masking and variations (i.e. spin versions) of these. These two processing techniques have become trendy cliches with some image-makers in the past couple of years, despite the usually ugly results whatever the scene. The harder-to-do trick is to maintain balance, an honest natural quality, a long, smooth grayscale without blocking up highlights or shadows, and avoiding added artifacts which demonstrate a beginners glee, but lack of subtlety.
red leaf
There have been messages received here which prove some of you have not yet read the open letters before asking questions which have already been answered, in many cases several years ago. Boo, hiss. For example, the music on Kubrick's The Shining was covered on the first Open Letter, near the bottom. Please look there for what I currently know about that film, including the music Kubrick chose for the end titles. Several good books (like the one by M. Ciment I mention in those comments) may provide answers to your questions on his films.
Also, we have no staff to look up information and answer your personal queries -- have you come to the wrong place! I wish we could, but few personal artist sites can (I know of none). Most sites don't even offer the open letters we provide to try to help you. Often a number of requests we get for personal research topics and detailed assistance are amazingly presumptuous and cheeky. Jeepers, get real! There are good search engines that can find many answers to your interrogations on the web. When the web fails to yield any results, you may have to do what we all do, and check books in a (*gulp*) l-i-b-r-a-r-y. We will continue to post a lot of varied and up to date information here as we have for several years now. But we don't pretend to be all-inclusive, nor to be the only experts in the many fields represented by our web site.
I thought we had already explained these realities on the Write Page that the open letters are linked from, but it may bear repeating it here. Thank you for your understanding, with apologies to those who already understood.
red leaf
On the boxed set page you will find a copy of this message below, just added, by way of reply to several recent letters. Hope this answers all such questions as clearly as we know how.
The Boxed Set, For Dummies

Some of you have written to say you found the contents list below, or our other explanations on this page, a bit confusing. Also, some web music stores have incomplete or inaccurate listings. If you are simply looking to find any or all of the original 1968 Switched-On Bach, any or all of the 1969 Well-Tempered Synthesizer, or any or all of the other Carlos realizations of Bach and Baroque music, boy, have you've come to the right place. The four CD's of this set contain the COMPLETE COLLECTION of every such Moog realization Wendy released from 1968-1980, and then some, with the most pristene, and faithful to the master tape sound they have ever had, and the complete S-OBackground Story, with many photographs.
So the short answer to all such questions is: "Yes, it's in here!"

red leafThanks for reading this continuing growing stream of (loosely) connected thoughts (chronology seems to play a role, wink nudge) triggered by you. I'll get back with more feedback and comments when I can. Stay tuned!

--Wendy Carlos  

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