Walter Carlos ‎– Sonic Seasonings

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Tracklist

Spring 22:09
Summer 21:31
Fall 20:56
Winter 20:31

Versions (18)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
KG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, Gat) Columbia KG 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
77290 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) CBS 77290 UK 1972 Sell This Version
S2BP 220177 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) CBS S2BP 220177 Australia 1972 Sell This Version
PG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) Columbia PG 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
KG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) Columbia KG 31234 Canada 1972 Sell This Version
S 67267 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) CBS, Trans-Electronic Music Productions, Inc. S 67267 Netherlands 1972 Sell This Version
SBP 474099, KG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album) CBS, CBS SBP 474099, KG 31234 New Zealand 1972 Sell This Version
PG 31234, KG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, Gat) Columbia, Columbia PG 31234, KG 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
KG 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, Gat) Columbia KG 31234 Canada 1972 Sell This Version
GA 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(8-Trk, Album) Columbia GA 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
PGT 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(Cass, Album) Columbia PGT 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
SOCL-209 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(LP, Album, Promo, Edi) CBS/Sony SOCL-209 Japan 1972 Sell This Version
GR 31234 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(Reel, 4tr Stereo, 7" Reel, Album) Columbia GR 31234 US 1972 Sell This Version
ESD 81372 Wendy Carlos Sonic Seasonings +(2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM) East Side Digital ESD 81372 US 1998 Sell This Version
S 67267 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, RE) CBS S 67267 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
67267 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, RE) CBS 67267 Netherlands Unknown Sell This Version
S 67267 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(2xLP, Album, RE) CBS S 67267 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
SOCL-209 Walter Carlos Sonic Seasonings(LP, Album, RE, Edi) CBS/Sony SOCL-209 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

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sharpshootingllama

sharpshootingllama

April 19, 2020
referencing Sonic Seasonings, 2xLP, Album, Gat, KG 31234
something's not adding up about this album's popularity and availability. It seems like a very ahead of it's time, influential, surprisingly strange, at times intense album. However, it's Not on spotify, not even on youtube, never rereleased after it's initial release except once on cd over 20 years ago, original copies of the album are cheap. Very strange there's not a greater demand for this in some form or another.
eskimo99

eskimo99

April 2, 2020
edited 10 months ago
referencing Sonic Seasonings, 2xLP, Album, Gat, KG 31234
Tracks: Spring, Summer, Fall, Halloween.

I do really like this album.
crowbycrow

crowbycrow

August 30, 2019
edited about 1 year ago
referencing Sonic Seasonings, Cass, Album, PGT 31234
Can someone please merge this into the correct Walter Carlos - Sonic Seasonings Main listing..? Thanks!!
AceBeaty

AceBeaty

April 16, 2019
referencing Sonic Seasonings, 2xLP, Album, Gat, KG 31234

One of the very first Ambient music works was the 1975 mesmerizing Brian Eno album 'Discreet Music', and this artist went about defining the genre itself with admirable releases thereafter. However 'Sonic Seasonings' by Wendy Carlos is a pioneering piece of Ambient music in its own right, released 3 years before Eno, in association with Rachel Elkind. Many pieces have sounds which can be confused as field recordings, but unlike in The KLF 'Chill Out' album, natural, or I would say environmental sounds, were most of times created in the studio using synthesizers. So a rainstorm isn't a rainstorm sound capture but a synthesis work reaching very close to a natural sound sample. "Sonic Seasonings +" a 1998 extended re-issue adds an album out-take and two fascinating and previously unreleased pieces from the same period. I'd also recommend "Beauty In The Beast" if curious about other Ambient creations by the same artist.
LostCauseVinyl

LostCauseVinyl

September 24, 2018
referencing Sonic Seasonings, 2xLP, Album, Gat, PG 31234, KG 31234

One of the most underrated ambient albums of all time. Minimal and powerful. Modular synth atmospheres like no other.
DenkiGroove

DenkiGroove

May 1, 2018
referencing Sonic Seasonings +, 2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM, ESD 81372

Had a brand new copy of this one and I managed to drop it on three separate occasions...
I find Winter to be quite unsettling, but overall I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to ambient music
Stuck_In_1992

Stuck_In_1992

May 13, 2017
referencing Sonic Seasonings +, 2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM, ESD 81372

This is the most amazing ambient album I've ever heard period. For years I only had disk one on CDR. My friend who burned it for me didn't know there was music on the other disk and then I lost contact with him. After a while I found it on Amazon and bought it. "Spring" is still the best track. It sounds like a magical garden with friendly insects that don't bite, waterfalls, flowers, and a friendly rainstorm. I used to listen to this on loop to help me fall asleep for years. "Summer" is the worst track on the album, it's full of harsh sounds. It's good if you want to imagine you live next to an airport. "Fall" is similar to "Spring" in that "Fall" has an enchanted fantasy feel to it, only this one makes you feel as though your at a campfire with an Org or Troll and your staring at eachother, enjoying the company while acknowledging each others existence in the form of grunts. Disk two was quite new to me. The tracks didn't imprint on me as much as the first disk but they're all quite pleasant to listen to. I can't recommend this set enough to those seeking nice chill out music to relax or fall asleep to. I've never heard anything else like this, it's quite amazing.
mjb

mjb

April 25, 2017
referencing Sonic Seasonings +, 2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM, ESD 81372
This was reissued in late 2003, but no one has submitted the reissue as a separate release. Is it identical to the 1998 release or what?
sunshine-recorder

sunshine-recorder

January 26, 2015
referencing Sonic Seasonings, 2xLP, Album, 77290

Before a time of ambient music, of new age music, were the pioneering sounds of Walter Carlos. Released all the way back in 1972, Sonic Seasonings represents a fascinating document of the progression of electronic synthesis and multitracking; listening to it today, it is easy to draw parallels with many later ambient-inspired works. Taking the form of four sketches spread over four sides of vinyl, each around 20 minutes long, the title of the record is very literal. Here, the four seasons are rendered in epic stereo.

Each of these sketches are very visual. Spring bursts forth from the first side of the record, painting a picture of a picture of a rising sun emerging from the darkness of winter. The sounds of birds in conversation fades in and out, along with the beautifully recorded thunderstorm taking up around a third of the first side, that blends in with the sounds of urban life - trains pulling into a station, rain falling on metal. Distance is a key element used well on these recordings; psychedelic, tremolo chords bounce across the stereo image before morphing into more delicate tones from Carlos’ expert manipulation of the Moog synthesiser, further validating it as an instrument in a time of reluctant acceptance of electronic synthesis. Chords and tones rise and fall on the Spring side, recreating the ebb and flow of the hemisphere, the weather and the days gradually opening up. It’s commendable how the sounds of the synthesiser and field recordings blend together so effortlessly - the fact that up to 48 channels were used to produce these amalgamations of sound is pretty astounding, considering this was produced in the early 70’s.

The Summer side starts as it means to go on - arid, desolate and hazy. Again, there’s a vivid sense of imagery present here with sounds that are tense, stagnant and disorienting. Menacing walls of tone drift across the recording, interwoven with the sounds of insects, creating the most alien, out-there sketch on the record - listening to this, once can draw a comparison between the music of groups and artists like Boards Of Canada or Vatican Shadow. The noise here is the sound of dread - stranded in the desert, confused, with mirages distorting the view. While the recording here doesn’t sound like it utilises the availability of vast amounts of channels to it’s full extent, the more minimal palette results in a more hypnotic, slightly disturbing and paranoid mood. It’s probably the least accessible track of the four, but it certainly rewards the listener by digging deep into the psyche, conjuring one’s imagination and again, painting a picture that’s more dry and abstract, rather than vivid and focused like the other three tracks present.

Beginning side three, the Autumn side, is the sound of surf lapping against the shore, blended in with some gorgeous Moog sounds, arranged in such a way that they’re perhaps the most musical tones available on this record. Of course, with Autumn, one would think that the moods here would be somewhat more downbeat; instead, the sounds here are rendered in a celebratory tone; an ode to the power of nature, the seasons, the weather and mother Earth. Details present here are more focused, rather than drifting in and out of view as tends to be the case on the other tracks. The sounds of a crackling fire are seeming present through most of this record, making it feel warmer and less ominous than the Summer recording; they’re more layered - just like one would be dressing at such a time of year. For many listeners (on a cursory browse of the wider Internet), it seems Autumn is the most accessible to a wider audience. The melodic progression of the synthesiser here is more serene, resembling most the esoteric vibrations of new-age music that would follow on from this record.

You know as soon as the needle enters the opening grooves of the Winter that again, it will be a desolate evocation of the moods one experiences during the winter months. This track is the most conventionally ambient of the four, using the cool tones of a long, evolving pad to progress the listener through the audial sketch. Lightly, far back in the mix, the listener can hear nuanced, sharp sounds, producing image of ice and snowflakes, giving a slightly magical, psychedelic air to the recording. It’s esoteric, but not nearly as pronounced as the Autumn side. The sounds of a wolf howling on this track makes it feel kind of cheesy and clichéd, but in the scheme of things the record as a body of work redeems itself of this minor misdemeanour. Subtle drops of piano are peppered over the later portion of the track, giving rise to imagery of a landscape mostly dormant and devoid of life. You can’t really overstate how visual this music really is - whilst being a testament to the skill of Carlos to create evocative soundscapes it also makes one think about the wider implication of the capacity of imagination and preconceived notions of seasonal imagery and moods. Going back to the recording, the feature of soft, wordless vocals blended in to the sound of howling wolves provides an interestingly human touch. Whilst giving a sense of mystery to the proceedings on the latter part of this track, it gives rise to more ominous tones in the form of a textured, fat synthesiser sound signalling the complete and utter darkness, depravation and emptiness of winter before abruptly fading out.

It’s a strange record, that’s for sure. Regardless, it feels like important listening for those interested in evocative, visual music. It certainly hasn’t aged at all.
Clogwhistle

Clogwhistle

July 17, 2012
referencing Sonic Seasonings +, 2xCD, Album, Enh, RE, RM, ESD 81372
I have this set on 2xCD-R with the original cover. I contacted the Wendy Carlos home page to inquire about its legitimacy and was told that towards the end of their existence East Side Digital did produce high quality CD-Rs to maintain their stock levels.
This does not mean that my copy is genuine but it does mean that genuine CD-Rs are out there.

PS I like the bonus tracks.