The Moogtonium, Max Brand’s Rare Moog Synthesizer

Benedikt Guschlbauer & Uli Kühn improvise on the Max Brand Synthesizer, aka the Moogtonium, live at the Ars Electronica Festival 2009 in Linz, Austria.

This rare synthesizer prototype was built by Bob Moog in 1967. It is Moog’s unique interpretation of a Trautonium, and was built for the Austrian avant garde electronic composer Max Brand.

Michelle Moog-Koussa explains the origin of the Moogtonium:

Max Brand, was an Austrian avant-garde composer living in New York City, was searching for someone to build him a version of a Trautonium, an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1929 by Friedrich Trautwein and later perfected by Oskar Sala.

Sala’s instrument, the Mixture Tratonium, was famous for its subharmonic oscillators and ribbon controller interface (instead of a keyboard). You can read more about the instrument here and see a fantastic video of Sala playing the instrument here.

It was Sala’s version that interested Max Brand.

Brand learned of Bob Moog’s early work in creating synthesizer modules, and contacted him about building a version of this rare instrument. Bob, still in the early phases of developing the Moog modulars, agreed. The two men worked for two years to develop the instrument, with Bob building and Brand honing needed specifications and capabilities. The instrument was ultimately delivered in 1968.

This comes from a very interesting article by Moog-Koussa on the Moogtonium at the Bob Moog Foundation site:

To hear more of this incredible machine, check out the CD Kabelbrand – Sounds from the Max Brand Synthesizer, released on the Moozak record label.

via SynthTV

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