Synthesizer pioneer Dr Bob Moog died at his North Carolina home yesterday aged 71, after being diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) in late April 2005. He had received both radiation treatment and chemotherapy to help combat the disease. In 2002 he was the joint recipient of the Technical Grammy award with Apple Computer.
There is a warm tribute to the man on his Web site.
"Bob was warm and outgoing. He enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. He especially appreciated what [his wife] Ileana referred to as "the magical connection" between music-makers and their instruments," the tribute states.
Moog’s namesake analogue synthesizers affected popular music in ways he might not have expected back in 1954 when he began building theremins with his father. But 50 years later, his musical instruments have catapulted many styles of music into the future.
After ten years of making theremins and providing unearthly sounds to science fiction movies and avant garde musicians, Bob Moog met experimental composer Herbert Deutsch, who then inspired him to create the first Moog Modular Synthesizer.
Public awareness of Moog synthesizers jumped ahead beneath the nimble fingers of Wendy Carlos, whose renowned album “Switched-On Bach” was released on Columbia Records at the end of 1968, achieving immediate success. The album went on to sell over a million copies, creating a sharp demand for Moog modular synthesizers throughout 1969 and early 1970.
At the end of 1977, Bob left Moog Music and founded Big Briar in 1978 for the purpose of developing and building electronic musical instruments with novel player interfaces.
In 2002 both Moog and Apple Computer were awarded the Techincal Grammy. This award is presented to people and businesses who, through technical innovations, have enhanced the recording industry.
No public memorial is planned. Fans and friends can direct their sympathies or remembrances online.
Bob's family has established The Bob Moog Foundation, dedicated to the Advancement of Electronic Music in his memory. Many of his longtime collaborators, ranging from musicians to engineers and educators, have agreed to sit on its executive board, including David Borden, Wendy Carlos, Joel Chadabpe, John Eaton, David Mash, and Rick Wakeman. For more information about the foundation, contact Matthew Moog at [email protected]