Wendy Carlos' "Beauty in the Beast"
May 21, 2012 7:25 PM Subscribe
posted by Trurl (30 comments total)
49 users marked this as a favorite
Wendy Carlos is best known for Switched-On Bach
, the best-selling album that popularized the Moog synthesizer, and the soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange
. But what she calls her "most important album" is the 1986 recording Beauty in the Beast
, whose experiments with instrumentation, tonality, and scaling are described in these two
PDF reproductions of contemporary articles from Keyboard
magazine.The title cut of the album, this compact piece whimsically blends two quasi grotesque ideas with a romantic theme in best "Ballet Russe" style. The new scales used for all of this are quite odd the first heard called Beta, splits the perfect fourth into two equal parts (actually eight equal steps of nearly 64 cents each ), the second, Alpha, does the same to the minor third (four equal steps for 78 c. each). While both scales have nearly perfect triads two remarkable coincidences!), neither can build a standard diatonic scale, and so the melodic motion is strange and exotic. The two forces, beast and beauty, shift back and forth, and things are never quite what they seem.
- liner notes
by Wendy Carlos