The premiere event will take place on October 10, 2010, at the Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville, NC, from 3:30–6:00 p.m. Admission is $7, with proceeds benefiting the Bob Moog Foundation.
Bob Moog Live is the only known recording of synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog publicly performing on the Minimoog. Created in 1970, the Minimoog celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The Bob Moog Live recording took place on November 23, 1980, at the Asheville Art Museum and captured a performance by Moog, Abbott & Lewis. Local musicians Dan Lewis and Mike Abbott, an accomplished synthesist, rounded out the trio on keyboards, guitar, and ukelin. Lewis and Abbott performed with Moog twice in Asheville in the summer and fall of 1980. The CD features the latter performance along with rehearsal sessions.
Lewis and Abbott composed all the music on the CD. Lewis, who preserved the recordings for the last 30 years, brought this project to the forefront. He produced the album to highlight a historic event and to create a fundraising mechanism for the Bob Moog Foundation.
The CD, described as electronic neoclassical music, features excerpts from Moog, Abbott & Lewis’s live concert tape. Subtitled “The Gig Tape,” it was originally recorded on 1/4-inch analog tape.
The CD will be available exclusively through the Bob Moog Foundation’s online store beginning on October 11, 2010. In addition to original music and instrumentation, the CD features Moog speaking candidly between songs about a variety of subjects ranging from the capabilities of electronic musical instruments to his life during that time period. At the time of the recording, Moog had recently left the company he started 25 years prior and moved from New York to North Carolina, where he started a new business, Big Briar, Inc.
Bob Moog passed away in 2005, and Abbott in 2003. Lewis remains in the Asheville area as audio engineer and arranger/producer at Acoustic Audio Recording in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
The Bob Moog Live event on October 10 will be a multilayered “happening” that includes listening to samples of the CD and brief informal lectures by Dan Lewis and by Bob Moog Foundation Executive Director Michelle Moog-Koussa. Live original music performed by Dan Lewis on guitar and synthesizers as well as an improvisational synthesizer jam featuring top area keyboardists performing on Moog synthesizers will provide live experimental synthesis as the musical backdrop for the evening. Jeff Knorr (The Funknastics), Mary Frances (Emyrael), Ben Hovey (Asheville Horns), and others will join Lewis on stage. A display of Minimoog material from Bob Moog’s Archives will be on display.
“While the recording is not 21st-century high fidelity, we realized it allows the listener to ‘attend’ a somewhat historic event and experience the only known opportunity to hear Bob speak, tell stories, and perform on his most famous invention, the Minimoog. In that sense, the recording is unique,” said Lewis. The CD will be available for purchase at the event.
Michelle Moog-Koussa states in the liner notes that it was rare to hear father at the piano when she was growing up and it was rarer still that he would perform. The Bob Moog Live CD is indeed a treasure and a unique glimpse into a time in Bob Moog’s life when he was taking a break from his professional life. He was relaxed, and that comes through in his commentary and playing The Bob Moog Foundation has embraced this project as an extension of its work in historical preservation.
The proceeds from the event and CD sales will support the Bob Moog Foundation, whose mission is to educate and inspire children and adults through electronic music. The Foundation is currently working on its educational goal of creating a curriculum with professors at UNC-Asheville that will teach K–8 children science through electronic music, and its historical goal of preserving and sharing Bob Moog’s extensive archives.
Online CD sales will be available after the event on the Bob Moog Foundation website at www.moogfoundation.org/shop.