Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wendy Carlownzored

I've been listening a lot to Wendy Carlos lately - mostly instrumental music, right, so it's great background music for writing papers to, and I had to write a big ol paper about "true threat" doctrine, or actually on a minor point in that doctrine. So I listened to a bunch of Wendy Carlos on my laptop.

I particularly enjoyed Sonic Seasonings - it's a mix of environmental sounds, like rain and the like, and electronic music. There's one track for every season.* It's from 1972, so it's an old and authentic and really enjoyable version of New Age cheese music. Also a lot of fun - the soundtrack to The Shining, but I'm not sure what on that is Carlos and what isn't.

Anyway, Wendy Carlos' style is notable for having a wide range of synthetic sounds, and quite a few short percussive notes that are unique and which pop up infrequently - there's a lot of variety in her synthetic orchestration. Which is great.

But it also means that not infrequently do I think that some program or window's throwing up some notification chime.

*The version I have is a recent rerelease featuring some slamming bonus tracks.


Gill said...

Have you ever heard White Noise, with 70's electronic genius Delia Derbyshire? She helped make the Doctor Who theme but usually isn't credited.


Matt said...

I have not, but I certainly will check out White Noise. I love the early Dr. Who theme, so I'll definitely check it out.

It's amazing to me how, with this early electronic music, everything had to be recorded one note at a time. So if you're going to play a chord, you have to play one note, then go back and record another note, then go back and record another. This stuff just had to be meticulously plotted out and planned almost like a building with blueprints.

Gill said...

Oh yeah and the computers were the size of a house!! You should see the back of the Tonto's Expanding Headband album!!

Gill said...

Terry Riley is good too and Steve Reich but maybe you know them already??