Synopsis by Mark Deming
Born in 1934, Robert Moog grew up in New York City, where he developed a passion for playing the piano around the same time he started tinkering with electronic equipment, an interest he picked up from his father. In 1949, Moog had learned how to build and play theremins, one of the world's first electronic musical instruments, and he began selling mail-order theremin kits out of his apartment in the early '60s. Moog's obsession with using electronics to create music led him to invent and market the Moog synthesizer in 1964; while hardly the first electronic keyboard, its broad range of strange but inviting sounds (as well as its unique simulations of "real" instruments) pushed the keyboard-based synthesizer into the forefront of electronic music-making. The award-winning album Switched on Bach by Walter Carlos (later Wendy Carlos) was performed entirely on the Moog, and soon everyone from the Beatles to Buck Owens began exploring the possibilities of the synthesizer. Moog is a documentary that chronicles Robert Moog's life and times, as well as his philosophies about electronics and music, and features testimonials from some of the many musicians who have used his instruments, including Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Money Mark, and DJ Spooky.
career-retrospective, electronics, interview, inventor, keyboards [music], life-story, pioneer, synthesizer