The History Center in Tompkins County will open the highly anticipated exhibition Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer on Friday, May 2nd. Telling the story of Bob Moog and the development of the groundbreaking electronic instruments bearing his name, Switched-On will provide museum-goers an interactive, engaging opportunity to learn about this important chapter of our region's history. Based on a series of wide-ranging oral history interviews done with family members, colleagues, and contemporaries, and done in partnership with the Asheville, N.C.-based Bob Moog Foundation, the exhibition provides unparalleled insight into the unique genius of Bob Moog and the ways in which he ushered in a revolution in music. Switched-On is the first major exhibition on Bob Moog and Moog Synthesizers to occur in the region, and will run through May 31st, 2015.
First Friday Gallery Night Friday, May 2nd, 2014 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. The History Center
Wow, the Mountain Oasis 2013 festival was simply epic! As I mentioned in a recent post, I was that there at the invitation of the Bob Moog Foundation. I brought my "9 Box" installation / instrument to be part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience. In this post I’ll offer some photos and videos from my time at the fest.
9 Box as Part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience
For those not familiar with the 9 Box, it’s part collaborative instrument, part interactive installation -- the 9 Box allows up to six casual players to instantly make music and shape sound by manipulating blocks called AudioCubes.
AudioCubes, made by California based Percussa (http://www.percussa.us), are smart wireless cubes capable of sensing each other's location and orientation as well as distance to your hands, fingers and other objects. They also emit feedback in the form of light as you interact with them. Ultimately this hands-on approach allows players to manipulate sets of sounds in 3x3 grids -- hence the name 9 Box. The 9 Box supports also supports user creatable "refills" allowing for unique and endless sonic possibilities.
So I devised the method, player’s guides and stickers, Percussa MIDI Bridge template, and Ableton Live templates and refill system.
SicImages was there and took this photo and made the comment
"These blocks were really something crazy. Infrared sensors and wireless proximity based effects manipulation into ableton....whatttt!”
The 9 Box ran for 18 hours over 3 days and was played by 100s of festival goers of all ages and went over really well. This embedded video offers a taste of what it was like to be at the 9 Box section of the booth area. It was so rewarding see people's reactions to the 9 Box and to hear their creations throughout the weekend.
Flickr Photo Set of Overall Festival Experience
Of course besides the booth time which ran from noon to seven each day I also was able to experience performances. Highlights for me were Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, Tara Busch, and Alan Howarth (co-composer of the soundtracks to all those great John Carpenter horror movies, and sound designer for films like the Star Trek franchise.
Mountain Oasis exceed my expectations in every way. There probably around 7,000 people there which was a large enough number of attendees to make Asheville feel vibrant but not overrun. I felt the festival was well organized and there was a nice mix of artists. The Arena was perfect for bigger acts like NIN and Gary Numan. The 500 seat Diana Wortham was great for more intimate performances by Tara Busch and Alan Howarth. The Orange Peel housed more beat driven shows like Laurel Halo. Moving between venues was in itself interesting as people were in costumes and there were lots of talented street musicians playing.
3 days was the perfect length as by the end I was worn out – but in a good way. After experiencing Mountain Oasis it’s clear that AC Entertainment has hit their stride with this event and Moog Inc’s lack of participation and the name change didn’t phase them. I’d definitely go back.
Mountain Oasis Festival was just an incredible experience all the way around. One of the coolest music-related trips ever!!! HUGE thanks to:
Back in late August Tara Busch (http://analogsuicide.com/) released The Rocket Wife EP. Sales of the album benefit the Bob Moog Foundation. The album is available on bandcamp and I’ve embedded a preview below. It’s a great EP with some cool ethereal tracks featuring Tara’s awesome synth work and vocal stylings. Give it a listen below and please buy to support Tara’s art and donate to a good cause.
The Bob Moog Foundation will announce three winners on November 10, 2011. The winners will have their remix posted on the BMF Bandcamp site where it will be available for sale, with proceeds benefiting the Foundation. The grand prize winner will receive a framed limited-edition archival image of Bob Moog, a selection of BMF merchandise, and the opportunity to collaborate virtually with Busch on a track where she will supply vocals and synth soundscapes.
All Proceeds Go To Bob Moog Foundation
Tara was quoted on the foundation’s web site as saying:
“I’m excited and inspired by their quest to educate children and adults alike about ‘the intersection of science & music’ and hopefully this EP will help introduce more people to the Bob Moog Foundation. One hundred percent of the profits from the EP and the remix stems will be donated to the Bob Moog Foundation.”
1) Rocket Wife: A bombastic, orchestral- electronic theme written from the perspective of a wife of a doomed astronaut about to embark on what will be his final flight. I’m a big fan of juxtaposing dark, melancholic subject matter with big, flourishing melodies, M-Tron Pro Mellotron strings and rich,1930′s Disney- style backing vocals. I used my Minimoog Voyager extensively for sound effects and also prominently featured the Moogerfooger Ring Modulator. I used the Moogerfooger Analog Delay on one f the lead vocal tracks, and backing vocals were filtered through the Moogerfooger MF 101.
2) Calendura: Simultaneously childlike and threatening, this song tells the story of a woman overcome with jealousy, beside herself at the thought of losing her love to a far more desirable woman named “Calendura”. The basis the song relies on my Casio SK! and Omnichord OM 27 spitting out a drum loops into the Moogerfooger Ring Modulator, Lo Pass Filter & Analog Delay. These were edited & “sewn together” with a big kick courtesy of Native Instruments’ Battery 3. Also featured is the M-Tron Pro Mellotron and shades of Moog Voyager bass pushed through the Moogerfooger Freq Box at the very end.
3) Motorcrash– I felt this song was appropriate to add as it features my very first adventure using Moog gear in a recording that I created on my own. Dating back to 2006, I used my newly acquired Fender Rhodes to pin down the main melody & popped it through my Moogerfooger 12 stage phaser. Excitement mounted as I discovered how fantastic my Etehrwave Theremin sounded through the MF 103 and into the MF 104…it was with this song, I became curious and hungry to constantly reinvent and “make new sounds”. My bandmate, Mike Walters popped in later to add beautiful swoops on his Minimoog Model D and his widely beloved invention, the Melloman (the Mellotron make with Sony Walkmans).
Mark Mosher Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer