Herb Deutsch On The Origin Of The Synthesizer

The New York Times has an article today about Herb Deutsch, looking at his collaboration with Bob Moog in the creation of the Moog synthesizer:

One night in January 1964, Herb Deutsch, an experimental composer from Long Island, and Robert Moog, an electrical engineer from upstate, sat with their wives at a little Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village and excitedly discussed a new idea: What if they created an instrument, a kind of “portable electronic music studio,” on which musicians could compose and perform?

“We were thinking primarily of composers,” Mr. Deutsch, now professor emeritus of music at Hofstra University, recalled a few weeks ago at his home here. “That performance part was not that important to Bob and me.”

That conversation in 1964 begat the Moog synthesizer, which helped launch a music revolution that started with the psychedelic rock stars of the 60’s and — several seismic electronic upheavals later — reached suburbia’s kid-next-door, the one with the Japanese keyboard and the garage band.

The heady early days will be recalled June 29, when the Inter-Media Art Center in Huntington presents “Herb Deutsch: Celebrating the Music of the Moog Synthesizer.” The event will be part belated birthday party for Mr. Deutsch (who turned 75 in February), part performance festival with multiple guests and instruments and part recollection of the Moog era, with video segments and some personal reminiscing.

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