Pioneering composer and synthesist Wendy Carlos (Switched On Bach, Tron, The Shining) has dismissed a new unauthorized biography as ‘bogus’.
The new biography, Wendy Carlos – A Biography, is written by Amanda Sewell and published by Oxford University Press. Like many biographies, its subject was not directly involved.
Carlos is famously protective of her privacy and has worked very hard to control how her image and music is used.
Carlos shared her take on the new biography on her site:
“Please be aware there’s a purported ‘Biography’ on me just released. It belongs on the fiction shelf.
No one ever interviewed me, nor anyone I know. There’s zero fact-checking. Don’t recognize myself anywhere in there—weird. Sloppy, dull and dubious, it’s hardly an objective academic study as it pretends to be.
This slim, mean-sprited volume is based on several false premises. All of it is speculation taken out of context. The key sources are other people’s write-ups of interviews done for magazine articles. There’s simply no way to know what’s true or not—nothing is first-hand.
The book is presumptuous. Pathetically, it accepts as “factual” a grab-bag of online urban legends, including anonymous axes to grind. The author imputes things she doesn’t understand, misses the real reasons for what was done or not done. She’s in way over her head, outside any areas of expertise, and even defames my dear deceased parents—shame!
While Carlos has personally dismissed the new biography, the book is in response to a void in information on the electronic music pioneer. Carlos has avoided interviews for decades, and most of her music is not available in physical or digital formats.