Friday, March 24, 2017
Moog Modular IIIc ▪ Sennheiser Vocoder VSM 201 ▪ Heinz Funk 1978 ▪ English subtitles
Published on Mar 24, 2017 MonoThyratron
► Educational Purpose only, please ◄
► English subtitles provided ◄
Videosource without English subtitles:
"In 1978, German musician, technician and businessman Heinz Funk (* 1915 - † 2013) tried to bring the average television consumer closer to the possibilities of electronic sound production. Going for half-measures wasn't his scene then: The TV demonstration included the cabinet-size Moog Modular IIIc, on which 2 copies of the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM 201 resided (only 50 pieces were allegedly produced). Left to them was placed the - here unused - Moog license module 1630 of the Bose Frequency Shifter.
'Storm wind', 'canary' and 'Lili Marleen' were pre-produced for this televised report, but the speech-laden vocoder demo was obviously done live. A white lab coat and patch cables wrapped around the neck should symbolize the technician. Body language and positioned leg of the presenter should bring out the relaxed handling of the then still quite unknown music technology.
Since this presentation was embedded in a musical entertainment program of the 'Second German Television', it should not deal too much with scientific and technical matter. The entertaining aspect was in the foreground, because the target audience on this TV show was not much drawn to electronic music production at that time. Heinz Funk mastered the tonal span between convention and modernism with wit and at the end of his performance even staged the "crazy professor". This was something usually not expected of a serious musician, as Funk was one. According to reports, he presented this highly "casual" style of a Moog and Sennheiser sales presentation even to a specialist audience, which was not always accepted with approval in German sales circles those days.
The vita of Heinz Funk reveals a "Jack-of-all-trades": Flight instructor, film composer, accordion and piano player, orchestra director, arranger, producer, music teacher, sound engineer, author of technical documentation, Moog sales partner, founder and proprietor of the nationwide „Studio Funk“, which still produces for radio stations, as well as film and sound studios. Heinz Funk's wide network within the AV media industry also brought together numerous musicians and developers, thus promoting the emergence of the German electronic music scene of the 1970s and 1980s."