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Wendy Carlos

Wendy CarlosAKA Walter Carlos

Born: 14-Nov-1939
Birthplace: Pawtucket, RI

Gender: Transgender [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Electronic Musician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Switched On Bach

Electronic music composer, best known for Switched-on Bach (1968), her execution of Bach on a Moog synthesizer. Her work was used prominently in the Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), as well as Disney's TRON (1982). Studied under Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.


[1] In 1967, Carlos underwent a sex change operation, changing her name from Walter to Wendy. Yet she continued to release music as Walter Carlos until 1975, making public appearances in masculine clothing and fake sideburns, until her official coming-out in an interview published in the May 1979 issue of Playboy. Carlos has proscribed further discussion of the operation, to the extent that it has become something of an open secret in the music press: for instance, she is listed in some prominent music discographies twice -- once for each of her different personas -- each entry containing duplicate information, yet with no reference to the parallel entry. Her sexual transmogrification was later glorified by eyepatched Scottish pop critic Momus. Momus had written a song about Carlos for his album The Little Red Songbook (1998), proposing that post-op Wendy Carlos could hypothetically twiddle through time and marry her pre-op self. Carlos sued Momus over the joke, and forced him to remove the song from his record.

    University: AB, Brown University (1962)
    University: MA, Columbia University (1965)
    Scholar: Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

    Sex Change Operation Male to female, 1967

Official Website:
http://www.wendycarlos.com/



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