Electronic Voyager Filming Traces Bob Moog’s Sonic Journey in Europe

Photo Essay: Five Remarkable Interviews for Electronic Voyager Documentary

The last week of November 2017 found Michelle Moog-Koussa and the production team of the Electronic Voyager documentary traveling to France and England to conduct interviews with legendary musicians and engineers, all of whom were part of the Moog legacy. What follows is photographic journey through that experience.

Sunday: Marseille, France

Felix Visser Interview

Felix Visser is the president of the Dutch synthesizer company Synton, which was lauded in the 1980s for their expressive synthesizers and vocoders. Felix and Bob became very good friends and business associates, representing each others products when Bob was in the early stages of his new company, Big Briar, Inc. The two often discussed the need for alternative interfaces that would allow human nuance to control synthesis.

We met Felix in Marseille, a couple of hours from his home in the countryside of France, at the Laboratorie de Mécanique et d’Acoustique (Laboratory of Mechanics and Acoustics). The gracious staff at the research facility allowed us to use their anechoic chamber to conduct the interview, making for a stunning visual backdrop and an audio environment that delighted the documentary’s sound recordist, Justin Ladd.

Robert Fantinatto (Director/DOP) frames the shot as Justin Ladd (Sound Recordist) and Jason Amm (Producer) sit where Michelle will soon interview Felix.
Justin studies the aural environment prior before the filming begins.
Felix and Michelle catch up before the interview.
Felix reflects on his long friendship with Bob
The production crew with staff from the Labroratoire: (L-R) Julien Bayle, Justin Ladd, Patrick Sanchez, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Felix Visser, Robert Fantinatto, Jason Amm.

Monday: Paris, France

Jean-Michel Jarre

Legendary synthesist Jean-Michel Jarre has sold 80 million records and performed in front of audiences as big as three million. We were fortunate to sit down with him in the intimate setting of his studio just outside of Paris and explore the history of electronic music, in which he has deep roots, his experience performing with Moog instruments, and his strong connection to Bob, which developed over decades.

Robert and Justin set up prior to Jean-Michel's arrival at his studio. His tech Patrick is in the background preparing one of the instruments.
Robert and Justin set up prior to Jean-Michel’s arrival at his studio. His tech Patrick is in the background setting up Jean-Michel’s Big Briar 91 Series Theremin.
Jean-Michel and Michelle in the midst of a riveting interview about his musical roots, his view on Moog instruments as expressive tools, and his connection to Bob.
Jean-Michel, with one of his beloved Memorymoogs in the background, under his Moog Voyager.


We only wish it could have been longer. Jean-Michel with the Electronic Voyager production team at the end of the interview.
We only wish it could have been longer. Jean-Michel with the Electronic Voyager production team at the end of the interview.
Jean-Michel and Michelle by his prized Moog modular synthesizer. One of many (many) synthesizers that grace his studio.
Jean-Michel and Michelle by his prized Moog modular synthesizer. One of many (many) synthesizers that grace his studio.

Tuesday: Oxfordshire, England

Lydia Kavina Interview

Lydia is the granddaughter of Léon Theremin’s cousin, with whom he was very close. She was also one of his last protégés, taking lessons from him beginning at nine years old, and concertizing all over the world in the next four decades. She is one of the finest theremin virtuosas of her time. She had a personal friendship and professional relationship with Bob for about ten years before his passing.

Lydia, with a theremin of her own design behind her, waiting for the interview to begin.
Lydia shows Michelle photographs of herself with Léon Theremin and with Bob.


Lydia performs one of her own works as Michelle looks on.

Wednesday: Cambridge, England

Peter Zinovieff Interview

Famed founder of British synthesizer company EMS (Electronic Music Studios), now 84 years old, offered us a fascinating and frank interview that included the evolution of this company, and a rare visit from Bob in 1969.

On set with Peter in his Cambridge home.



Peter with the film’s producer, Jason Amm, a long-time fan.
Michelle with one of Peter’s prototype sequencer designs, which never made it to production.
Hanging on Peter’s walls…….


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Filming b-roll close-by in Cambridge.




Thursday: Norwich, England

Rick Wakeman Interview

Last, but by no means least, was our captivating interview with legendary prog-rock synth maestro Rick Wakeman.

Rick’s keyboard tech, Erik Jordan, tunes Rick’s four of Rick’s nine Minimoogs prior to the interview.
Robert and Justin prepare for the shoot to begin.
Michelle interviewing Rick in front of his bay of Minimoogs, as Robert captures every moment.
Rick and Michelle examining an unusual serial number on the back of one of his Minimoogs.
It’s a wrap. Michelle and the production team with Rick, who was our final interview of the European leg of filming.
Michelle gets a final hug from Rick and Erik. Rick has known Michelle since she was a toddler.


Many thanks to Felix, Jean-Michel, Lydia, Peter, Rick, and all of the spouses, techs, and assistants who helped facilitate a truly extraordinary set of interviews, as well as to the production team for bringing this project to life.

Stay tuned for more updates in the new year as the journey tracing Bob’s sonic footsteps continues!

2 Responses to “Electronic Voyager Filming Traces Bob Moog’s Sonic Journey in Europe”

  1. Paul

    I’m really pleased that you managed to speak to Rick. I found that he’s such a humble person and a great wit.

  2. robin

    what a truly, wonderfully incredible experience you all must have had, with gorgeous scenery and rich history in the story telling.
    can’t wait for the movie!

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