Sonic Seasonings

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Sonic Seasonings
1998 reissue front cover
Studio album by
GenreElectronic, ambient, experimental, new-age
LabelColumbia Records
ProducerWendy Carlos
Wendy Carlos chronology
The Well-Tempered Synthesizer
Sonic Seasonings
A Clockwork Orange

Sonic Seasonings is a studio album from the American keyboardist and composer Wendy Carlos, originally released under her birth name, Walter Carlos, in 1972 as a double album on Columbia Records. The album features four ambient tracks, each loosely based on each of the four seasons, combining various field recordings with sounds from a Moog synthesizer. It marks a departure from her previous two albums which featured synthesized renditions of various pieces of classical music. The album reached No. 168 on the US Billboard 200. In 1998, it was remastered for CD with two previously unreleased tracks.


Following the release of her second studio album The Well-Tempered Synthesizer in late 1969, the second featuring synthesized pieces of classical music, Carlos proceeded to change musical direction for her next album. Collaborating with friend and producer Rachel Elkind, the two sought to produce music that was "deliberately minimal" and had "a much longer span" than was typical of contemporary music at the time. The two decided on an album with four long tracks, each loosely based on each of the four seasons, partly constructed with improvised and composed passages.[1] Various field recordings of nature are incorporated into the pieces, including wind on "Fall", bird song on "Spring", and insects on "Summer".

The album was recorded on a 3-M tape machine, which was restored with modern components in preparation for the album's 1998 remastering.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

Upon its release in 1972,[3] Sonic Seasonings reached No. 168 on the US Billboard 200. Initially, Carlos wished for Columbia Records to release the album in the Compatible Discrete 4 Quadrophonic sound system, but the label refused to do so.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
Side two
Side three
Side four

1998 CD reissue[edit]

East Side Digital reissued Sonic Seasonings in 1998 as a remastered two-CD set, containing the original album, one out-take track, and two previously unreleased compositions.


  • Wendy Carlos – synthesizers, design, mastering, engineering
  • Rachel Elkind – vocalise on "Winter", original package design, liner notes
  • Ed Lee – original package design
  • Ogata Korin – cover art
  • Jorma Puranen – tundra photograph
  • Annemarie Franklin – executive producer


  1. ^ a b c Sonic Seasonings (Media notes). East Side Digital. 1998. ESD 81372.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sonic Seasonings (Media notes). Columbia Records. 1972. PG 31234.