courtesy of MoogFest
Dr. Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.
Dr. Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. courtesy of MoogFest
If it weren't for Dr. Bob Moog, music would not be where it is today. The two-time Grammy winner began making theremins in the late 1950s and early '60s, which sparked the creation of the first Moog Modular Synthesizer. His synth was quickly adopted by rock, and later by hip hop and electronica artists. While he thought of himself as the humble tool maker for musicians, he completely transformed the music industry; there is hardly a musician in the world who is unfamiliar with his inventions.
After his death in 2005, Michelle Moog-Koussa and her family established the Bob Memorial foundation in his honor. Spending the past five years carrying on her father's legacy, Moog-Koussa has launched a series of projects to preserve the Moog archives, reach out to students, and celebrate the electronic music tradition. In addition to getting kids interested and involved with electronic music and instruments, the foundation has established scholarships at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, Berklee College of Music in Boston and Cornell University. It's also set up Bob Moog exhibits in museums (including the "Moogseum") and the recent MoogFest 2010, which took place at the end of October and featured top-tier artists such as MGMT, Girl Talk, Massive Attack, Caribou, Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells, and Thievery Corporation.
Hear an extended interview with Moog-Koussa on this installment of World Cafe.