The Bob Moog
Foundation aims to preserve its namesake’s archives.
BY ALLIE GOOLRICK
When Dr. Robert “Bob” Moog died of cancer in 2005, the world
lost a great pioneer of electrical music. Best known for the Moog synthesizer—and
his warm personality—Moog was known for building innovative instruments that
broke down the barriers between natural musicianship and technology. For many
musicians, the loss of Moog was the loss of a hero.
following Dad’s passing, thousands of people around the world paid tribute to
the effect that Dad had on their lives, both through his instruments and
through his warm, humble spirit,” says Moog’s daughter, Michelle Moog-Koussa.
What Moog fans didn’t know was that they were about to lose
a part of the Moog legacy, too. After the passing of her father, Moog-Koussa
opened up a storage shed to find stacks and stacks of dusty boxes and trashbags
filled with her father’s archives. Covered in a thin layer of mold were thousands of items: vintage instruments and
equipment including the last of the Minimoog synthesizers, prototypes, master
recordings from ‘60s and ‘70s electronic musicians like Wendy (nee Walter)
Carlos and Keith Emerson, copious schematics, articles and photos and a huge
amount of memorabilia.
immediately that the archives needed to be restored. She soon founded the Bob
Moog Foundation to fund the project with the intention of eventually opening a
Bob Moog Museum. And her plight was heard by the musical community. After the Smashing
Pumpkins’ nine-day run last summer in Asheville, NC (the home base of Moog
Music Inc.), Billy Corgan became interested in the project, donating and
speaking out on behalf of the Foundation.
“I strongly believe
many people all over the world would benefit from being able to interact with
the thoughts, ideas, inventions, and life of Dr. Moog,” says Corgan, in a
message on the Moog Foundation website, www.moogfoundation.org.
The archives are
only a fraction of what the Foundation is doing to preserve Moog’s legacy. The
non-profit recently released a CD, Mooged
Out: Asheville, which features Asheville musicians all using Moog gear.
Plans are in the works to set up scholarships at UNC-Asheville, Berklee College
of Music and Cornell University in Moog’s name and the Foundation is designing
outreach programs to bring electronic music into the schools “as a vehicle for
children to connect science, music and creativity,” says Moog-Koussa. The group
was also represented at this year’s NAMM Show, has held community events in the
Asheville area and even anticipates a series of benefit concerts with
nationally recognized musicians.
If the Foundation
has any say in it, Moog’s legacy will continue to inspire electronic music and
creative technology for years to come.
“My father has a
unique and beautiful legacy of touching people’s lives through innovation,
creativity and human warmth,” says Moog-Koussa. “The Bob Moog Foundation aims
to carry that legacy forward. As my father would say ‘What’s not to like?’”
[Photo of Moog 1974 courtesy the Bob Moog