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Friday, May 23, 2008

AMIN BHATIA DEDICATES NEW ALBUM TO BOB MOOG

"Film Composer / Synthesist Amin Bhatia announces the release of 'Virtuality', the long-awaited sequel to his synth orchestral epic 'The Interstellar Suite', on the anniversary of synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog's birthday, May 23 2008.

The album is dedicated to Moog, who was a friend of the composer and is endorsed by the Bob Moog Foundation. Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director and daughter of the late Bob Moog says:

'My father's genius and passion was taking the synthesizer out of the laboratory and making synthesis accessible to musicians, and through them, to the world. Amin Bhatia’s 'Virtuality' is another fine example of that accessibility.'

True to Bhatia’s obsession with orchestral music and science fiction, the first half of the album explores the micro-universe that exists inside the computer. Titles like 'World Wide Web', 'Virus' and 'Second Life' portray aspects of our modern virtual world through music and sound design. Artwork was provided by the award winning digital artist Alexander Preuss.

The second half of the album features 'Bolero Electronica', a one-of-a-kind journey through 75 years of synthesizers through an innovative realization of Maurice Ravel’s 'Bolero'. In Bhatia’s version, instruments as early as the Ondes Martenot and Theremin begin the work, and the piece progresses through generations of synthesizers from Moog, Roland, Yamaha and others chronologically. The work builds in size and power decade by decade ending in present day virtual instruments and technologies. Guest artists include veteran keyboardists Steve Porcaro and Patrick Moraz. Many of the instruments used were from the Cantos Music Foundation. The album was recorded and mixed by award winning producers David Greene and Jeff Wolpert.

Bob Moog had been scheduled to provide a special feature narration track for “Bolero Electronica” but sadly that recording never happened. True to Bob’s mission to document, celebrate and teach innovative thinking, Amin instead employed noted synthesizer historian Mark Vail to create additional liner notes. The result is an illustrated guide which allows the listener to follow along stanza by stanza through Bhatia’s elaborate rendition, complete with a timeline chart of every synthesizer used.

'The Timeline of synthesizers in Bolero Electronica looks like the Moog Legacy to me and I only wish Dad were around to hear this project come to fruition', says Michelle. 'I think he would be delighted in the artistry Amin used to employ so many different instruments.'

Says Amin 'Electronic music to me is like animation. It’s a portrayal of reality through an innovative use of non-reality. When done right it creates beautifully animated images in the mind of the listener. And Bob was the greatest animator of them all.'

'Virtuality' will be released via CD and download on the anniversary of Bob Moog's birthday, May 23rd 2008. A portion of each sale will be donated to the Bob Moog Foundation."

My Notes:
I have been fortunate enough to listen to the CD in full. I have to say the experience of listening to "Bolero Electronica" while viewing the "Timeline of Synthesizers" is an extremely rare and satisfying treat. I literally could not stop smiling throughout the piece. I do not want to spoil this track for anyone, but let's just say there is nothing I have experienced quite like it. The intro delivers in a way that is simply beyond cool and it just keeps on giving. It is an absolutely brilliant composition for the synth enthusiast. Trust me, you will be able to appreciate this one like no one else. Be sure to click on the timeline image in this post.

If you know "Bolero," it is a piece that starts with just a few instruments and then builds with layered instruments into a triumphant finish. When you listen to "Bolero Electronica" and watch the timeline, you instantly make the connection and realize that this isn't just Bolero done with synths, but literally a redefinition of Bolero as the triumph of synthesizers over time. "Commercial synths" essentially began with MOOG, Buchla, EMS and eventually grew into the myriad of synths we have today. Click on the image in this post that looks like a track listing. That is the actual progression of the piece. When you listen to it, you can literally listen to the evolution of synthesizers over time. Utterly amazing. There are very few tracks that will go down as pivotal in the history of synths. I honestly believe this will be one of them considering what it conveys, the history it speaks. You simply have to hear it to experience it in full. You will find yourself going back to focus on different synths and sound evolution through time via synthesis. It is simply just brilliant.

You can find more info including clips and how to get this CD via The Bob MOOG Foundation.

NOTE This post will sit on top for the remainder of the day. Be sure to check below for new posts.

11 comments:

  1. Happy B-Day Dr. Moog!!

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  2. please play on your synths and single a little birthday song for the lovable guy. he's sorely missed.

    on a side not, that synth chart isn't 100% accurate is it? Roland SpaceEcho 201 in the 60's? Dave Smith Evolver in the 90's?

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  3. Good post - yes Mr Bob Moog surely was a genius.

    Stupid question: How can you make a post in the blogspot keep on top of the page - thanks.

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  4. Two instruments changed the way I listen to music, they are the Moog and the Mellotron.
    Thank you Bob for letting your creative genius loose on the world and giving us the Moog.
    Every night as I gently place the cover over my Moog Voyager I silently say "thank you Bob."
    tc

    visa it's not a stupid question, the first post will stay at the top of the page unless a new one is inserted by the author.:)(At least that's my understanding of bloggism.)

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  5. Regarding how to keep the post on top, you just set the publish date to when you want it to stay up until. This one is set to 11:59 PM. Note that you have to first publish the post at the current time and then update. If you try to publish it with the later time Blogger will just stick it in the queue to be published at that time.

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  6. I got it - thanks Matrix (top cat also thank you - but this is exactly what I want to overcome - i want to post but keep 1 special post always on top of the others...I wil try how MATRIX explained) ..by the way I will soon open a blog called the KOWLOON MUSIK........- this is about my own noise made on a novation and and emx together with reason 4 ...i still need some time but i am looking forward to make some kind of forum here in HK for all (is not so many) synth lovers here in HK - but lets see - I will keep you up-dated - but for the moment I need to work on this VISA story.....Thanks anyhow - and I really very much like your blog -its the best source for all what we LOVE - electronic music

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  7. Regarding the fine time line chart - placing the Emulator II in the 90's are not exactly right either.

    KennethA
    12bit.com

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  8. Moog ruled...OK...That architectural drawing in that first picture is pretty sweet too, is there a bigger version I can see somewhere, or anyone know the artist that did it?

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  9. hey I "ordered" my copy ....we should get a count of how many Matrixsynth readers ponied up...

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  10. Zamise, click through The Bob Moog Foundation link on the bottom of the post. There is a link to the album cover art. It's a larger version of the image you are referring to.

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  11. Does anyone know more about the drawing used as album art for this 'virtuality' release ?
    I think it is a nice depiction of William Gibsons' sprawl in neuromancer.
    thx,
    Bart

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