Yesterday we learned of the passing of Robert Moog, physicist, musician, and inventor of the Moog Synthesizer. Moog had brain cancer, and died at his home in Asheville, NC at the age of 71.
To me, Bob Moog was a mythical figure, as were the musicians that made his instruments famous – Walter/Wendy Carlos, Herbie Hancock, and especially Rick Wakeman of Yes. I often fantasized about entertaining large audiences standing in front of a bank of synthesizers similar to Wakeman’s, a dream that followed me into my music career and into my dallying with several rock bands while in school. It wasn’t just the music that interested me, but the science of manipulating wave forms to replicate various timbres and tonalities.
In 1982, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Moog for the Furman radio station. He was visiting the campus, and gave a fascinating talk about his work and musical synthesis. I found him to be a warm, engaging person, whose calm, informed answers smoothed over my nervous questions. He will be missed by the music world.