Executive Director’s Report from NAMM ’09

Bob Moog Archives on Display, NAMM Museum of Making Music Exhibit, a Sneak Preview at the Moogseum and much, much more!

Winter NAMM, held in Anaheim, California each January, is always a blast for the Bob Moog Foundation. At NAMM, we meet up with old friends, make great industry contacts and generally spread the word about the Foundation’s progress. This year we had much to report!

Bob Moog's Archives Showcase at NAMM '09
Bob Moog's Archives Showcase at NAMM '09

As you all know, we have been working steadily to preserve and protect Bob’s imperiled archives over the past year and a half. Our goal has always been to share these archives through exhibits, and eventually through our own museum. Recently, we formed a partnership with the NAMM Museum of Making Music (MoMM) located in Carlsbad, California. The Museum of Making Music will be hosting the first ever Bob Moog Retrospective exhibit from September 2009-March 2010. A formal announcement about that exhibit is forthcoming. I spent much of the weekend in meetings with the MoMM’s excellent staff about this exhibit and came away feeling excited about our collaboration and delighted at the prospect of bringing my father’s archives out for people to explore. We’ve come a long way from the moldy workshop!!

As a precursor for the MoMM exhibit, the Bob Moog Foundation provided a showcase exhibit of Bob Moog Archives (above) at the Idea Center at NAMM. This small but powerful slice of Moog history drew a lot of attention and excitement — we were certainly encouraged by the high level of interest and gratified to be sharing the archives with such an enthusiastic crowd. You can get a more detailed glimpse at the showcase from this video interview with Electronic Musician Magazine.

Over at the Bob Moog Foundation booth space (located in Moog Music’s bustling booth), we provided a “sneak peak” the Bob Moog Museum, or Moogseum, which is in the early planning stages. Gene Felice, an

Moogseum Poster at the NAMM Booth
Moogseum Poster at the NAMM Booth

Asheville-based graphics designer (and a devoted Foundation volunteer) created a 3-D model conceptualization of the Moogseum, which was completed just days before NAMM. This outstanding visualization drew a lot of attention at the Bob Moog Foundation booth space. I had a lot of wonderful conversations with people about the Moogseum, including some well-known faces.

Herbie Hancock and Michelle Moog-Koussa
Herbie Hancock and Michelle Moog-Koussa

Jazz great Herbie Hancock stopped by the booth and proclaimed the Moogseum “Fantastic!”. That was music to my ears. Lisa Harrington, keyboardist from the Smashing Pumpkins, synth legend Michael Boddicker, pioneering synthesist Morton Subotnik, keyboard tech to the stars Will Alexander and many, many more stopped in to check on our progress as well. Amin Bhatia, the neo-symphonic synthesist who created “Bolero Electronica”, was kind enough to man the booth space while I was out at meetings. You can see him talking to Gearwire about the Moogseum here.

NAMM is full of interesting, creative, musical people. When I could steal a few minutes away from the booth, I wandered out onto the NAMM floor to connect with people who have been touched by Bob Moog’s work.

Ikutaro Kakehashi, Michelle and BMF Board Member Bill Sautter
Ikutaro Kakehashi, Michelle and BMF Board Member Bill Sautter

It is always an honor to talk with Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of synthesizer giant, Roland. I first met Mr. Kakehashi when he came to visit my father at our countryside home in North Carolina; I was 11 at the time. Each year at NAMM, I check in with him and he is always interested and supportive of the Foundation’s efforts. A couple of years ago, at my first NAMM, I was completely humbled when Mr. Kakehashi said to me “Your father is the foundation for my business”.

On the software side of things, I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Persing, President and Creative Director at Spectrasonics. Eric got into synthesis as a kid through his exposure to the Minimoog. You can see him talking about the influence Bob Moog has had on his career here. Eric was very supportive of our efforts and he and I will be working together to see if we can collaborate in some way.

Keith Emerson and Michelle Moog-Koussa
Keith Emerson and Michelle Moog-Koussa

Last, but certainly not least, it was a pleasure for me to finally meet Keith Emerson for the first time. Keith was over demoing and signing autographs at the Korg booth. The nice people at Korg were kind enough to allow me to see Keith before he met the masses that awaited him. I brought along our Moogseum poster and had him sign it. Hopefully, in a few years time, he’ll be playing there as well!

Check out Harmony Central’s coverage of our NAMM efforts here.

NAMM is always an inspiring experience, and this year didn’t disappoint. I return home energized by the incredible support from our extensive network of friends and supporters throughout the country and the world. As a result of NAMM, we have quite a few new projects brewing, and I look forward to sharing them with you throughout the year.

For those of you who did touch base at NAMM, it was great to see you! Thanks for your constant words of encouragement and for the good vibes.

Michelle Moog-Koussa

Executive Director

The Bob Moog Foundation

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