PYHOF: Wendy Carlos, the Moog Pioneer


Using analog synthesizers and unconventional tools such as the vocoder and theremin, electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos weaved the strange but majestic film scores for The Shining, Tron and A Clockwork Orange.

WHO: Wendy Carlos
GENRE: Electronic

Wendy Carlos emerged in the ‘60s using a then-unknown musical equipment – the Moog Synthesizer. Her Grammy Award-winning album “Switched on Bach” featured Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest classical pieces recreated using analog modular synthesizers – specially created for her by friend Bob Moog. This friendship was a special collaboration between two geniuses – Carlos would think of a concept and Moog would craft the synth for her.

It’s a kinda challenging to look for audio samples, so maybe you’d like to re-watch these classics which all featured Carlos’s impressive work:

  • For The Shining she invented “The Circon” – a controller which produced a haunting yet melodic sound.
  • For Tron, analog and digital synthesizers were incorporated with an orchestra.
  • For A Clockwork Orange, they featured the first recorded song that used a vocoder for singing parts. Usually vocoders are used for speech analysis.

Photo credit:

written by shhquiet on 2011-06-03 in #lifestyle #synthesizer #electronic-music #lomography #pyhof #analogue-lifestyle #theremin #moog #sound-design #vocoder #wendy-carlos #keyboards


  1. pulex
    pulex ·

    i love her/his album switched on bach...those sounds always made we want an analog modular synth...took me years to save enough money but i own one now!!

  2. floriansimon
    floriansimon ·

    I love the soundtrack of Tron and The Shining, but especially the score of A Clockwork Orange is a masterpiece. Nowadays, almost everyone could generate music on their computer, but in the 60s, her/his electronic music was such a unique and special thing.

  3. yawn
    yawn ·

    My favourite version of Sheep May Safely Graze is Wendy's, that and that famous suite #2 in Bm including this very minuet: never heard an orchestra version that i liked more.

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