Moog festival to feature talks, music, exhibition

By: Jose Beduya,  Cornell Chronicle
Tue, 02/25/2020

The strange oscillations that first emanated from the small synthesizer factory of Robert Moog, Ph.D. ’65, more than a half-century ago in the quiet village of Trumansburg, New York, have become signature sounds reverberating throughout the history of electronic music – from Wendy Carlos to Daft Punk; from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Flying Lotus.

In honor of the inventor of the now-ubiquitous Moog synthesizer, and to celebrate the opening of Moog’s archive at Cornell University Library, the university is hosting “When Machines Rock: A Celebration of Robert Moog and Electronic Music,” March 5–7, featuring talks, workshops, an exhibition opening and performances on and off campus.

Two images of Moog, including a circa 1968 photo with Moog employee Jon Weiss. Cornell University Library

All on-campus events are free and open to the public. The full schedule of events can be viewed on the library website.

The festival showcases artists from a wide sonic spectrum, including synth-pop icon Gary Numan, electroclash band ADULT, beat-maker and multimedia artist Suzi Analogue, and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

“When Machines Rock” also brings together panels and presentations by Moog specialists and colleagues, along with representatives from Moog Music Inc. and the Bob Moog Foundation.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my father’s history and to lending a unique family perspective to the celebration,” said Michelle Moog-Koussa, the executive director of the Bob Moog Foundation, which she said aims to “inspire people of all ages through the intersections of science, music and imagination, which are at the heart of Bob’s pioneering legacy.

“By bringing his life and legacy to the fore through original source documents,” Moog-Koussa said, “and through the sharing of oral histories via the panels and discussions, this celebration echoes our mission and ultimately helps carry it forward to the Cornell community.”