Switched-on: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer

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On May 2, 2014, The History Center in Tompkins County, NY, in partnership with the Bob Moog Foundation, will open a new exhibition Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer.

The exhibit will explore the life of Dr. Robert Moog and the creation and evolution of the electronic instruments bearing his name. Based on new interviews with family members, colleagues, and contemporaries, including Herb Deutsch, Bernie Worrell, Bill Hemsath, Don Preston, David VanKoevering, Shirleigh Moog, David Borden, and others, the exhibition will offer a unique view into the life and work of Moog.

Robert Moog came to Ithaca, NY in 1957 to begin his PhD work at Cornell University. He founded the R.A. Moog, Co. in the late 1950s, selling theremins and theremin kits throughout Ithaca.

In 1963, Moog opened a storefront for his small factory, in nearby Trumansburg, NY. It was there that the Moog modular synthesizer and the iconic Minimoog were born. The factory grew to become a mainstay in the region until Moog sold the company in 1971, and the new owners moved it to Williamsville, NY.

Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer tells the story of Moog’s Trumansburg years, through the oral histories of those who knew him, worked with him, and shared his path in shaping a revolution in sound, technology, and music.

The exhibit will also feature a collection of rare Moog instruments.  Continue reading

Moog Theremini – The Theremin For Mere Mortals?

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2014 NAMM Show: The theremin has long had a reputation for being one of the most difficult instruments to play in tune. Moog Music today introduced a new theremin that attempts to address this issue, without sacrificing the theremin’s expressive power.

The Moog Theremini is a new theremin that offers traditional control, retro-futuristic design and improved playability.

A built in tuner supplies real-time visual feedback of each note as it is played, as well as its proximity to perfection. This is useful for correcting a user’s playing position, or to educate younger players about pitch and scales.

In addition, the Theremini lets you dial in assistive pitch correction. At the maximum position, the Theremini will play every note in a selected scale perfectly, making it impossible to play a wrong note. As this control is decreased, more expressive control of pitch becomes possible. When set to minimum, the Theremini will perform as a traditional theremin, with analog heterodyning oscillator and absolutely no pitch assistance. Continue reading

Moog Trademarks ‘Theremini’ (NAMM Leak)

moog-logoMoog Music has filed for a new trademark registration for Theremini, for theremin musical instruments:

On Friday, January 03, 2014, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for THEREMINI by Moog Music, Inc., Asheville, NC 28801

The USPTO has given the THEREMINI trademark serial number of 86157167. The current federal status of this trademark filing is NEW APPLICATION – RECORD INITIALIZED NOT ASSIGNED TO EXAMINER.

The correspondent listed for THEREMINI is CHRISTOPHER M. THOMAS of PARKER POE ADAMS & BERNSTEIN LLP, 150 FAYETTEVILLE STREET, SUITE 1400, RALEIGH, NC 27601 . The THEREMINI trademark is filed in the category of Musical Instrument Products . The description provided to the USPTO for THEREMINI is Music instruments in general; theremins.

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Custom Theremins Featured In NYC Exhibit – ‘Odd Harmonics’

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Odd Harmonics is an exhibit of custom theremins, being held Oct 16-Nov 16 at the Judith Charles Gallery in NYC.

Odd Harmonics is a collaborative exhibition, with Butterscotch Records and Moog Music, featuring work by Francois Chambard, Cassandra C. Jones and Tomory Dodge.The show will also feature performances by the likes of Butterscotch’s own Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), German classical Theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck, performance artist Christen Clifford and more. Continue reading

Because ‘Whorehouse Piano’ Is Sadly Lacking In The Theremin Repetoire

More Theremin goodness from Rob Schwimmer. Here, he’s playing a song by Beck [Hansen, yes, the two-turntables-and-a-microphone Beck], “Why Did You Make Me Care.” The performance was at the NY Theremin Society concert back in September at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Continue reading