Today we celebrate Bob’s 74th birthday. He is deeply missed, indeed, but his life’s work lives on in many, many people all over the planet. In Bob’s own words, his life’s work was as “a toolmaker”, putting innovative instruments in the hands of musicians, giving them a new sonic palette with which to express their musical voice. Bob really believed in music as a means of expression and as higher form of human communication. His passion was providing the medium for the music to be made.
Bob always got a big kick out of talented musicians. He spoke of being awed at the music that a gifted musician could coax out of a synth, and he deeply respected this skill. It is fitting, then, that we celebrate Bob’s birthday with the music, skill, talent and vision that film composer/synthesist Amin Bhatia displays in his new double concept CD “Virtuality“.
Film composer and Synthesist Amin Bhatia
The first half of “Virtuality” is comprised of ten tracks which transport the listener through an orchestral and electronic voyage through the modern day computer with such tracks as “Hymn to the Users”, “Need for Speed”, “Virus Attack” and “In Search of Lost Identities”. Click here to see the album cover with artwork by digital artist Alexander Preuss.
The second half of the album is “Bolero Electronica“, a work based on Maurice Ravel’s 1928 orchestral masterpiece “Bolero”, in which instruments of the orchestra are featured one after the other in growing layers and dynamics over 18 stanzas. In place of orchestral instruments, Amin uses over 75 synthesizers and electronic instruments (which span a 75 year time period) and introduces them chronologically with the shift in each stanza.
The piece begins with a Moog Modular, ARP 2600, Buchla 100 Modular and and EMS Synthi 100 and concludes with Arturia’s Moog Modular V, Spectrasonics Distorted Reality, the Alesis Andromeda A6, the Studer 820 and (sigh!) the Minimoog Model D. “Bolero Electronica” is nothing short of a brilliant celebration of synthesis and an expansive honoring of a collective group of synthesizer pioneers. To see a “Timeline of Technology Used”, click here.
Amin notes “Ever since my first Minimoog and a 4-track I’ve witnessed – and been part of – many revolutionary changes in electronic music. From tubes to transistors, tape to MIDI and now to computers and virtual synthesis each change has brought about new and exciting combinations of music and sound. Bob Moog was going to help on a narration track for “Bolero Electronica“. Sadly that never happened, so I’ve dedicated the album to him and to the Bob Moog Foundation. It’s my way of saying thank you for my very first Minimoog that started it all.” Amin is donating part of the proceeds from the sale of each CD to the Bob Moog Foundation.
The industry is already buzzing with accolades for “Bolero“:
“Not only is this a tribute to the late Bob Moog, but it is a tribute to the history of synthesizers in general. I do not recall anyone doing anything like this on this scale. I have no doubt “Bolero Electronica” will go down as a pivotal historical piece. Absolutely fantastic. A masterpiece! Thank you so much for creating this.” —MATRIXSYNTH
” …while the album is technically impressive (it uses vintage synthesizers from the Cantos Foundation Synthesizer Museum as well as several from personal collections), that would be meaningless if it wasn’t for the fact that the music is adventurous, exciting, and beautifully recorded and produced….” —Craig Anderton, Editor EQ Magazine
Click on the links below to hear clips from “Virtuality” and “Bolero Electronica“.
For a limited time, the Bob Moog Foundation is pleased to offer a copy of Amin’s “Virtuality” CD as a gift with a $25.00 donation. Support Bob’s legacy and get a piece of synth history. Donate today. With a $100.00 donation, you will recieve a copy of “Virtuality” and a Bob Moog Foundation tshirt, with our special” Bob’s Pocket”. Read more about our t-shirts here.
Yes, this album is dedicated to Bob, and yes, it is a celebration of the history of synthesizers as we know them today. But ultimately, this album is all about…..the music. Are you listening, Bob? We feel sure that he is.
Happy Birthday Bob! We Miss you!
Moog Lives. Play On.