To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Bob Moog Foundation, we are sharing the first installation of the Moogstress blog. Michelle Moog-Koussa will continue to write about the more personal side of her work with the Foundation throughout the year. Here, she shares insights into the creation of the Foundation itself.
My father was a quiet, introspective, cool, quirky, funny guy. He worked, and traveled for work, a lot so I got to see less of him than the average kid. While I silently longed to spend more time with him, even as a child I acknowledged that he functioned on an uncommon intellectual plane and that this attribute drove him to pursuits that were well outside the fathering realm. Dad was a great teacher, had a rambunctious laugh and sense of humor, loved chocolate and good food of all sorts, had a passion and attachment to nature and had the deepest, wisest, rarest presence that I have yet to experience. I loved him and respected him deeply, as you would expect, but he was still just my dad.
I have three siblings. We all grew up knowing that our father had done something remarkable, but it was rarely talked about in the house. Dad didn’t talk about work much and when asked, he often gave uncomfortable, short answers. There are probably many reasons for this for which I can only surmise, but one of them is surely that he wanted a place where he could just be Dad, and not be viewed through the big, and sometimes overwhelming, “Bob Moog” filter.
On April 29, 2005, my dad called me at work to tell me that he had a brain tumor. As I sat in stunned silence, my entire worldview shifted. This was my paternal rock – my voice of reason, the person I would go to as an adult to help me sort through life’s complications. He seemed infallible. At 71 years old, I didn’t expect him to die. But that day I knew he wouldn’t be around for much longer. My Dad died three months and three weeks later on August 21, 2005.
The time of my father’s illness and death was the most devastating of my life. But in the midst of my melancholy and despair I was awakened to the man the rest of the world knew as Bob Moog. Through thousands of testimonials that were sent to my family during his illness and passing, I came to learn for the first time, at 37 years old, that my dad was also Bob Moog: the genius inventor and synthesizer pioneer whose work has touched and even transformed people’s lives all over the world.
This awareness at this time was like the sun filtering through the sky of a raging, vicious storm. It was the dawn of my understanding of Bob Moog’s tremendous legacy. My father was dying at the same time that the birth of my understanding for his professional legacy took place. It was a deeply sad, beautiful time in my life.
From this new found understanding of Bob Moog’s powerful legacy, my family created the Bob Moog Foundation with the aim of continuing his legacy of technological brilliance and creative warmth. Just as he gave people a powerful new creative voice through his innovations, the Bob Moog Foundation ignites the innovator in people through exposure to interactive educational experiences based in electronic music.
We are immensely proud of the progress we have made as a small non-profit in the past five years of economic challenge. Through Dr. Bob’s Sound School (formerly MoogLab), we teach kids and adults science through music. You can see a beautiful video about that project HERE and you can read a report from our Sound School Project Coordinator later in the week. Our efforts to preserve Bob’s extensive and historic archives have been recognized by the Grammy Foundation, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NAMM’s Museum of Making Music, and the Cantos Museum, to name a few. We will be working this year to bring more of those archives to life in an online setting and beginning work on a traveling exhibit.
As we celebrate our fifth anniversary this week, there is a palpable sense of Moogmentum here at the Bob Moog Foundation. We are inspired to ignite the innovative and creative spirits in us all through interactive experiences rooted in Bob’s pioneering legacy.
The Moogstress blog was created to give you personal insight into the Bob Moog Foundation. Through this unique insight, I hope to share with you a greater understanding of our projects, the dynamics around the Foundation and the future we are forging.
In honor of the 5th anniversary we’ve created a special download for subscribers to our free eNewsletter. The newsletter will keep you posted about updates to this blog as well as our progress in Dr. Bob’s Sound School and the Archives and their eventual convergence in the Moogseum in Asheville, NC.