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MOOG, the new documentary about Robert Moog, inventor of the modern synthesiser, is a portrait of the legendary figure in music and technology and his ideas about creativity, design, interactivity, spirituality and his collaborations with musicians over the years.
After inventing and building electronic musical instruments for over half a century, Bob Moog passed away on August 21st, 2005, at the age of 71 after a battle with brain cancer. All of us here at Plexi are honored to have been able to work with Bob on the film, and we send our condolences to his family and everyone at Moog Music. He was a gentleman and a genius, and we are incredibly saddened by his passing.
Remembrances of Bob from the filmmakers:
“Bob was generous, brilliant, and humble, which is a rare combination. It was an honor to spend time with him. I remember talking with him about whether he believed his instruments retained a memory of him and I certainly think that is true. In a very real way he lives on in his instruments and few have affected the world of music as Bob did. He will be missed.”
– director Hans Fjellestad (read Hans’ full memorial here)
“To me the thing that sums up Bob Moog is the fact that he was so humble in the face of being revered all across the globe for his amazing inventions. I know he saw himself as someone who helped musicians create. And he was proud of all the music that came from his machines from The Beatles to Dick Hyman to Pink Floyd to Sun Ra to The Moog Cookbook, and on and on. He was always doodling new ideas, he wore a pocket protector like a badge of honor, and he laughed often. The world has lost a true original.”
– producer Ryan Page
In the film, Moog explained that he “can feel what’s going on in a piece of electronic equipment… it’s something between discovering and witnessing.” And he was convinced that many musicians come to “feel” a circuit in a similar way. In fact, musicians make such strong emotional connections with the electronics inside a Moog synthesiser that the inventor himself reached cult hero status.
Permanently changing the face of music, the Moog synthesiser went from being the centerpiece of a late-60s craze — appearing on records with such titles as Spotlight on the Moog, Moog Power, Music to Moog By, Country Moog, Moog Indigo, Exotic Moog and countless others — to an indispendable instrument for progressive rock bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes to predating the electronic dance music movement of today.
MOOG was directed by Hans Fjellestad and produced by Fjellestad and Ryan Page, who collaborated on FRONTIER LIFE (2002), a film about Tijuana, Mexico, and its burgeoning electronic dance music scene. The film was shot on location in Asheville, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo and London, featuring appearances by Keith Emerson, Walter Sear, Gershon Kinsgley, Jean-Jacques Perrey & Luke Vibert, Rick Wakeman, DJ Spooky, Herb Deutsch, Bernie Worrell, Pamelia Kurstin, Tino Corp. with Charlie Clouser, Money Mark, Mix Master Mike, and an eclectic mix of performers.
Artists such as Stereolab, Meat Beat Manifesto, Tortoise, Money Mark, Luke Vibert & Jean-Jacques Perrey, 33, Moog Cookbook, Plastiq Phantom, Psilonaut, Bernie Worrell & Bootsy Collins, Roger O’Donnell, The Album Leaf, Pete Devriese, Bostich, Charlie Clouser, Baiyon, Suzanne Ciani, Gershon Kingsley, Doug McKechnie, Electric Skychurch and others contributed original music produced on Moog instruments for the soundtrack. The soundtrack album is out now on Hollywood Records.
Director's Video Notes, Deleted Scenes, Interviews and Additional Performances from The Album Leaf, Tino Corp. w/ Charlie Clouser and Money Mark w/ Woody Jackson.
2004 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Official Selection; 2004 Barcelona In-Edit Film Festival: Best Documentary Winner; 2004 Sheffield International Film Festival: Official Selection; 2005 Rotterdam International Film Festival: Official Selection;More Info
"Compelling documentary portrait... a fascinating historical look at the technological side of the 60's revolution in pop music." - Stephen Holden, New York Times
"An intriguing rendering of one of music technology's seminal figures."
- Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"A fascinating history of both man and instrument."
- Charles Shaar Murray, Observer (UK)
"Brilliantly inspiring on many levels."
- Andrew Perry, Daily Telegraph (UK)