Many believe that Wendy Carlos’s groundbreaking album Switched-On Bach changed the face of both pop and classical music with its use of a synthesizer. Then there are her influential film soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Tron. As the Australian Chamber Orchestra prepares to explore her music in a concert with the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, Paul Ballam-Cross examines Carlos’s trailblazing career.

Will Gregory
Will Gregory. Photo supplied by the Australian Chamber Orchestra

It’s no surprise that composers and performers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s felt synthesizers offered a remarkable level of creative freedom. Given that a synth’s timbre can be altered down to the intensity of each note’s attack, or the length of sustain and decay (without even mentioning dozens of other parameters), composers were,...