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Inventor of the Synthesizer Documentary

Submitted by on September 21, 2013 – 10:48 am No Comment

In this documentary made by Hans Fjellestad and produced by Plexifilm, we are introduced to the history of the synthesizer invented by Robert Moog who later sparked a revolution in the world of electronic music in the 1960s.  Robert Moog’s first customers were very legendary within the music world to include The Beatles, Mick Jagger of the Rollin’ Stones, and other rock legends.  Robert Moog earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in engineering and physics where most of his research and notes can be found in the college’s archives today.

In the very beginning of the film we are introduced Robert Moog himself, sitting on a swing chair and explaining to the interviewer about his early experiences with his synthizer. It was interesting to hear his own side of past events, particularly this one story he focused on when he was accused by another interviewer that his invention was making rock stars deaf and whether he was proud of that fact.

Robert Moog smiled and as he laughed, he recounted that after he had walked out of that conference, he whisked his family away and even ended up driving partially on a side walk while leaving because he was so infuriated.  The film is able to capture these interviews as well as detailed explanations of his invention through his own words from this documentary’s recording for Robert Moog had died in 2005.  The film allows viewers to see what Moog had in mind when he created the synthesizer and that it was especially made for musicians needs.

Moog goes through the various dials, modes, and ways one could manipulate electronic sound as he lovingly gazes at his machine like a grandfather would at his grandson.  The film then shows workers building a synthesizer from the ground up, giving a basic peek into the engineering and thought that was behind the machine’s invention.

In the mind of Dr Moog, we are shown his appreciation with nature and how from that connection, he is able to draw the world of organics and nature into the vision of his science and machinery.  There is some time spent watching him toil in his personal garden, expressing how tending to the plants and enjoying nature with his wife sculpted his personal philosophy.

We are then introduced to the various artists, including an entire band dedicated to the use of the synthesizer with old audio tapes of their live performances, switching back to the current conversation in a reminiscing moment.  Gershon Kingsley was the conductor’s name and his band was called The First Moog Quartet where you see them explaining what Moog’s machine was while the audience seems to be spell bound and awed with every electrical distortion that was produced.

This was quite new to the public and Moog is even quoted as saying that when people in the 1960s first heard the sounds of his synthesizer, they began to freak out because they had never heard something like it before.

At the end of the film, we come to Moog’s final thoughts about his interest in music and the evolution of his machines by stating that there is a mixture of energy, human consciousness, and the vibrations of spiritual energy that all meets itself into a musician and his instrument. Viewers of this film, especially vintage music enthusiasts, will immediately fall in love with this introduction into the mind and the artistic methods that went into Moog’s synthesizer.

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