Moog-Tastic: A Tribute to Moog Instruments, Albums and Pioneers
By Dana Countryman
I am absolutely delighted to donate 20 copies of Moog-Tastic!, my new CD tribute to the many Moog synthesizer albums that inspired me when I was young, to the Bob Moog Foundation. It is my thank-you gift for your donation in support of this organization’s great work to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history and innovation. After all, the Moog synthesizer had been a huge influence on my musical life since I’d been in high school (early ‘70s.)
In addition to Moog-Tastic! CD, you will also receive, thanks to my friends at Oglio Records, Destination Space, which I wrote and recorded with Jean-Jacques Perrey. PLUS, while supplies last, you will receive a color photo, personally autographed by Jean-Jacques and myself. Guaranteed to be a collector’s item! The entire Bob Moog Foundation Moog-Tastic package is my thank-you gift for your donation of $75 to support their work to educate and inspire through electronic music.
Moog-Tastic! features original melodies for synthesizer, composed especially for this project. The styles run from rock to ragtime to filmscore to classical. Guest stars include Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople), Fay Lovsky (theremin), Vinnie Bell (guitar), and Jean-Jacques Perrey (crazy tape loops!) Sound samples can be heard at http://www.reverbnation.com/danacountryman.
It had been a 30-year dream of mine to someday own a “Moog”, and in 2002, I was finally able to put together my own modular synthesizer, thanks to several new manufacturers who’d sprung up, making “tribute” synthesizers to the original Moog that Bob Moog pioneered in the ‘60s.
It all came full-circle when Moog Music finally released the minimoog Voyager, and I was able to buy a rack-mounted version of it. I also purchased all the Moogerfooger pedals as they came out, and mounted them all together in a rolling studio rack. Once I actually owned all these magical instruments, something even more magical happened to my musical life. I was asked by electronic pop music pioneer legend, Jean-Jacques Perrey to collaborate on an album with him! Unbelievable! I’d been a huge fan of his, since the late ‘60s.
To cut a very long story short, our Happy Electropop Music Machine album came out on Oglio Records in 2006, and that led to Jean-Jacques and I touring all over Europe and America. Two years later, we released our “Destination Space” album, and we played two special concerts in NYC and Montreal to announce its release. Also, just this summer, Comedy Central’s “South Park” used one of the tunes that Jean-Jacques and I recorded, for one of their crazy episodes.
The importance of my great friend, music partner, and French electronic music genius, Jean-Jacques Perrey, really cannot be understated. Before he and Gershon Kingsley recorded their The In Sound from Way Out! in 1966, electronic music was anything but popular. In fact, most of it was downright unlistenable. The academia-minded enthusiasts of early electronic music, chose to record mostly noises and strange sounds – but not much that could be considered recognizable music. Perrey (with arranger Kingsley) harnessed electronic music’s melodic possibilities, and built an extremely lucrative career, recording four classic albums, and scores of commercials with the Moog. Perrey’s Moog-fueled songs were grabbed up by ‘60s TV shows, such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, Sesame Street and countless children’s programs.
Perrey and Kingsley’s Kaleidoscopic Vibrations – Spotlight on the Moog album was actually released before W. Carlos released the Grammy award-winning Switched-On Bach. Perrey and Kingsley’s original song from that album, Baroque Hoedown, managed to mix classical, Moog sounds and even a little Country! The tune was snapped up by Disneyland, and to this day can still be heard as part of the theme park’s delightful Main Street Electrical Parade.
Almost 30 years after it was written, Perrey’s 1970 song “E.V.A.” stormed the charts via a remix by Fatboy Slim. It hit Number One in England. Numerous hip-hop artists grabbed the same tune, and at last count it has been sampled by over 70 artists, including Ice T, Dr. Dre and A Tribe Called Quest. Guess you could say that Mssr. Perrey was truly ahead of his time. And he’s still with us, at almost 82 years of age. My biography of Jean-Jacques Perrey has just been released and is available here. I really feel that his life and legacy need to be preserved for the future generations to come.
In the same way, the Bob Moog Foundation is continuing the legacy of Bob Moog. I’m just one of many, whose lives have been touched by Bob, and I’m honored to be able to give something back.
In case you’re wondering, the Bob Moog Foundation is completely separate from Moog Music, Inc. and relies on donors and grants to carry the Moog legacy forward.
I am excited to offer the Moog-Tastic! Collector’s Gift Package to those of you who click here make a donation of $75 to help carry Bob Moog’s legacy forward to future generations.
My favorite part of the Foundation’s goals is their program to put teach through synthesis, to reach children with electronic music at an early age. A pilot program has already begun in the Asheville, NC area. It’s proven to be a successful way to engage children and excite them about the science behind sound and behind electronic music. Instead of the normal brass band instruments, usually found in traditional schools’ music programs, they get to play around with real Moogs! I can only imagine what an impact it would have had on me, if only the grade school I attended sat me down at a Moog synthesizer when I was ten!
Another compelling part of the Foundation’s mission their work to save and protect Bob’s archives. Many of Bob’s rare schematics and synth prototypes are being preserved, as well as voluminous notes and scores of his detailed notebooks. Long range plans include an interactive “Moogseum”, where people can learn about electronic music, and experiment with synthesis.
I hope you’ll consider making a $75 donation to the Moog Foundation, and receive my “Moog-Tastic!” Collector’s Package.
Your dollars will go to helping bring the Bob Moog Foundation’s mission to life. The future of electronic music is now, and the legacy of Bob Moog’s musical genius is alive.
– Dana Countryman, synthesist, composer
Oglio recording artist