MATRIXSYNTH: Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog Exibition Updates

Friday, October 02, 2009

Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog Exibition Updates

"Exhibition features Keith Emerson's Legendary “Monster Moog” Modular Synthesizer through October 18th, 2009

CARSLBAD, CA/ASHEVILLE, NC – The Museum of Making Music (Carlsbad, CA), in partnership with the Bob Moog Foundation, has opened Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog exhibition, to run through April 30, 2010. The exhibit is the first of its kind, marking the first public display of the artifacts from Bob Moog’s archives and an examination of the impact of his work on the world of music.

On August 30th, Keith Emerson's (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Nice) mammoth “Monster Moog” modular synthesizer was added to the exhibit after it was featured the previous evening in a musical celebration of the exhibit opening by Emerson and Erik Norlander. Emerson used this remarkable instrument on numerous recordings over the past 40 years, including his solo in “Lucky Man” (1969), possibly the most popular synth solo in history. He also used the synthesizer on countless world tours and is generally credited with pioneering the use of the Moog modular as a touring musician.

The “Monster Moog” began as a modest system, but grew over time as Emerson
requested that Moog create custom additions for his touring instrument, including extra modules, custom sample-and-hold, and several pre-sets, an innovative addition for that time. The synthesizer grew into a massive cabinet of five sections and over 75 modules. It stands more than four feet above its special base – almost 8 feet high. Its sound is noticeably clearer and stronger than any other keyboard Emerson plays – it is an instrument of significance and legend, and arguably the most famous synthesizer of all time.

Bob Moog and Keith Emerson enjoyed a special relationship of toolmaker and musician that grew in to a lifelong friendship. Moog is noted for listening to musician's needs and technical specifications which he then used to improve his instruments: This dynamic is explored throughout the Waves exhibit.


Keith Emerson, a multi-platinum keyboardist whose career has spanned decades, is best known as one-third of the progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Their unique fusion of rock, classical, jazz, and blues accompanied by their virtuosity and showmanship catapulted the group to international stardom in 1970, where they remained for the rest of the decade. The group broke up in 1979 and Emerson continued performing with Emerson, Lake and Powell for a limited time. Emerson, Lake and Palmer reunited and toured in the early '90s. Emerson is widely regarded as one of the top keyboard players of the progressive rock era. He has been referred to as "perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history".

OPENING EVENT RECAP: Moog instruments, music and memories
To welcome the exhibition, the museum hosted several events on August 29th and 30th that highlighted Moog instruments, music and memories. On the evening of the 29th, Keith Emerson delighted the audience with an intimate demonstration of his “Monster Moog” modular and other vintage Moog instruments, which included his creative use of the Polymoog, Minimoog Model D and Moog ribbon controller. He treated the audience to new renditions of "Tarkus", "From The Beginning" and "Lucky Man" and "Close To Home”. Emerson also reflected on his time with Bob Moog and his infamous customized instrument.

Erik Norlander at the Memorymoog

Keyboard virtuoso Erik Norlander (ASIA featuring John Payne, The Rocket Scientists) deftly explored the range of his custom configured Moog-centric rig, which included a Minimoog Model D from the '70s, a Memorymoog from the '80s, a Minimoog Voyager and an Analog Delay Moogerfooger from Moog Music's current line of products. Norlander's performance highlighted several instrumental selections including "Neurosaur", "Dreamcurrents", "Trantor Station", "Sky Full Of Stars" and "Space: 1999/UFO" all highlighting his musical and technical prowess.

The The Volt Per Octaves, a family of Moog musicians comprised of Anna, Nick and Eva Montoya, provided rich ambient tones for their set inside the exhibit hall prior to the Emerson/Norlander performance. Attendees were treated to a Moog-filled musical experience coming from four Moog synthesizers, both vintage and contemporary, and a Moog Etherwave theremin.

The weekend concluded with a special multimedia presentation and historic discussion with by Larry Fast (Synergy, Peter Gabriel) and Brian Kehew (Moog Cookbook, The Who, “Recording the Beatles”). Fast and Kehew discussed the evolution of Moog instruments and their applications in live performance. [WATCH VIDEO]

Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog focuses on Bob's Moog's work and the impact that he had on the world of music. It features rare vintage synthesizers and other related Moog instruments and memorabilia from the Bob Moog Foundation Archives and from various private collections. A video presentation created exclusively for the museum by Moog historian and exhibit consultant Brian Kehew forms a central part of the exhibition. The exhibit explores the numerous musicians, engineers and colleagues who played a vital role in the evolution of the Moog sound and the relationship between and the inventor/toolmaker and the musician, as well as the genesis of a variety of musical interfaces.

The instruments featured in the exhibit trace the history of Moog’s work. The exhibit begins with vintage theremins and a prototype of Moog’s first modular synthesizer which originally belonged to Herb Deutsch, an experimental music composer from Long Island. His 1963 meeting with Dr. Bob Moog would help define the synthesizer as a musical instrument, and set a course for the future of electronic music. Other excellent examples of modular instruments from the late 1960s and early 1970s on exhibit are featured for the first time as a part of the museum display, notably Emerson's “Monster Moog”. [Artifact Photo & Info]

The exhibition highlights and explores crucial steps that were taken in the advancement of the Moog synthesizer during the years following the development of the modular system. The display showcases a sequence of models that led to the emergence of more compact instruments, such as the Minimoog. The main impetus behind this tremendous work was Moog’s vision to create a portable electronic music studio on which musicians could compose and perform.

This exhibition is funded in part by The Norris Foundation.

Bob Moog (1934-2005) was a pioneer in the field of electronic music, inventing the Moog synthesizer in 1964. His invention made synthesis accessible to musicians for the first time and in doing so provided them with new realms of sonic expression. The instrument revolutionized the face of music and was used by such early synthesists as Wendy Carlos, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Jan Hammer, and more.

“The Moog synthesizer defined the sounds of progressive rock and was regarded as the best sound in synthesizers. ” – Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)

The Moog synthesizer is widely used today in almost every genre of music and continues to be coveted for its rich, warm analog sound and high level of expressiveness.

“Bob Moog was one of the great visionaries of our time. His ideas far transcend just music, and to this day continue to have impact on everything from rock to rap to quantum physics” – Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)

Moog's career spanned over 50 years and his work left an indelible impact on music, musicians and music-lovers alike. Bob Moog's unique legacy is one of expanding musical expression through innovation and inspiring musicians to explore the boundaries of sonic reality. Tens of thousands of musicians worldwide were, and continue to be, inspired by Moog's work, and the sonic palette it provides.

Bob Moog was awarded two GRAMMYs for his work: the NARAS Trustee's Award in 1970 and Award for Technical Achievement in 2002. He also won the Polar Music prize in 2001 from the King of Sweden and numerous other prizes that recognized his contributions.

In addition to the opening weekend, the Museum has scheduled an array of special events that celebrate and provide unique perspectives on the legacy of Bob Moog:

Friday, November 6, 2009 - George Duke and His Quartet

Benefit Concert for the Museum & The Bob Moog Foundation

Synth pioneer, famed pianist and singer George Duke and his quartet present a concert to benefit the Museum of Making Music and The Bob Moog Foundation. Duke's prolific career as an R&B, funk, jazz and rock musician, composer, and producer has led him to work with an array of artists, including: Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Dianne Reeves, George Clinton, Anita Baker and others. [Artist Website]

Saturday, January 23, 2010 - Herb Deutsch and John Eaton

Celebrating the Birth and Music of the Moog Synthesizer
In 1964, Moog & Deutsch started investigating the possibilities of a new instrument to aid composers. Their collaboration was the foundation for the Moog synthesizer. In the 1980s, composer and musician John Eaton spent over 10 years developing a new synthesizer with Bob Moog, known as the Eaton-Moog Multi-Touch Sensitive Keyboard (MTS). This rare instrument will be on exhibit for the first time on the west coast beginning in January. Discover the birth of these ground-breaking synths with Deutsch & Eaton.

Saturday, April 17, 2010 - David Borden and Josh Oxford

Moog: The Man I Knew and the Machine I Learned
Join David Borden, composer and founder of Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Company (the world’s first synthesizer ensemble), along with performer, composer and arranger Josh Oxford (Ithaca College), for an evening of musical insight, performance, and inspiration. David Borden and Josh Oxford will perform Borden’s composition “Easter”(1970) on the Minimoog Model D and the Minimoog Voyager.

The Museum of Making Music, a division of the NAMM Foundation, explores the multifaceted history of the American music products industry from its beginnings in the 1890s to today. Located in Carlsbad, California (north San Diego county), the Museum tells stories of hard work, challenge, inspiration and pioneering innovation, and reveals the profound relationship between the industry, popular music, and global culture. For information, please visit

The Bob Moog Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon Moog's passing in August 2005. The mission of the foundation is to educate and inspire children and adults through the power and possibilities of electronic music and through the intersection of science, music and innovation. The foundation has three main projects: preserving and protecting Bob Moog's archives, creating a Student Outreach Program that brings electronic music into the schools, and its hallmark project, the creation of a Moogseum in Asheville, NC, for which it was recently awarded a $600,000 lead grant by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. The Moogseum is planned to open late 2012.

For more information, see"

1 comment:

  1. What a bunch of bullshit!

    I lived next to this museum for many years. I asked if they were ever interested in a display of synthesizers about two years ago. They told me and I quote "Those are not REAL instruments".




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