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.
Monday: Paris, France
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.
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.
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.
Thursday: Norwich, England
Rick Wakeman Interview
Last, but by no means least, was our captivating interview with legendary prog-rock synth maestro Rick Wakeman.
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!