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Category Archives: Wendy Carlos

Even before Carlos knew of a film project concerning A Clockwork Orange, the composer had begun work on a composition (Timesteps) based on the book. It’s the best piece of music in the score (and one of the most famed in the early history of electronic music), fitting in well next to late-’60s minimalist works by Terry Riley as well as the emerging Tangerine Dream (pre-Phaedra). Carlos also pioneered the effect of synthesized vocals (known as a vocoder), and their eerie nature perfectly complemented scenes from the film. Much of the rest of A Clockwork Orange is filled with rather cloying synthesizer versions of familiar classical pieces (from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie) similar to Carlos’ previous Switched-On Bach recordings. Still, it’s worthwhile if only for Timesteps. A Clockwork Orange was originally released as a Warner Bros. soundtrack, containing only film cuts (which edited Timesteps down from 13 minutes to only four).

-John Bush,

Wendy Carlos-A CLOCKWORK ORANGE OST (1971)

There’s some overlap between this and the PENDERECKI comp I uploaded earlier, but this is a great standalone score. You end up realizing how much, even though the film is visually arresting, the music and droning really carries it.

I’m fairly obsessed with THE SHINING, it must be said. On paper, conceptually, it was Kubrick’s appeal to a mass audience, his popcorn movie. Consider that as he pulls you into a world darker than Stephen King had even imagined, into something truly primeval, and think about the effect of that on a mainstream movie audience in 1980. You have a more affecting, horrifying existential clusterfuck of a movie experience than anything in all of European Art Cinema/French New Wave, or that Jodorowsky stuff.

Thought this was a good read.

Anyway, this has 15 tracks. I’ve seen versions of this score with a few as 8 tracks, so there’s some compiling from different sources going on I suppose.

Various Artists-THE SHINING OST (1980)
VBR mostly 256