By Lars Brandle, London
Bob Moog, inventor of his namesake range of synthesizers and one of the most significant figures in the evolution of electronic music, died yesterday (Aug. 21) at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71. A native of N.Y., Moog was diagnosed with brain cancer in late April and had since undergone radiation treatment and chemotherapy.
After a decade of building theremins with his father, Moog created his prototype, the Moog Modular Synthesizer, in 1963 and unveiled it the following year at the Audio Engineering Society Convention.
Among the first popular recorded music albums to feature the instrument was Wendy Carlos' 1968 release "Switched-On Bach," which sold more than one million copies and earned the artist three Grammys. Moog himself received a Grammy Trustees Award for lifetime achievement in 1970.
"[Moog] contributed to a new soundscape -- a legacy that we will continue in his honor," comments Mike Adams, president of N.C.-based Moog Music. "He was a musical pioneer for the love of it and musicians everywhere have had the opportunity to expand their own creative horizons with Bob's inventions."
An icon in electronic music circles, Moog was the focus of a Hans Fjellestad-directed documentary, "Moog," which was issued last year by Plexifilm. He was due to deliver the keynote speech at the upcoming Amsterdam Dance Event, to be held Oct. 27-29, but was forced to cancel his appearance shortly after his diagnosis.
Moog's family has established the Bob Moog Foundation, a charity dedicated to the advancement of electronic music. A host of his collaborators, including Carlos and Yes' Rick Wakeman, will sit on its board.
He is survived by his wife, Ileana, and five children. No public memorial is planned.