Kimmel At Large
Contributed Article & Photographs
by Peter Kimmel
This years’ NAMM Show, led me to seek out the origins of synthesized music. I found myself standing at the Bob Moog Foundation booth at various times throughout the show interacting with the Foundation’s resident Synth Guru, Marc Doty.
Marc Doty is a synthesist, composer, and educator. In 2006, Marc started one of the first analog synthesizer demonstration channels on YouTube, after being interviewed several times by Sonic State in England. The channel met with substantial success for its kind, and now has more than six million views.
Marc’s demonstrative style includes information about the functional aspects of synthesis as well as the history of the development of synthesis in addition to descriptions of specifics of sound and functionality in regard to the synthesizer being demonstrated. This style has made Marc’s videos into more than just demonstrations. They are in-depth educational seminars.
In the summer of 2011, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation, brought Marc onboard for a “residency” at the Bob Moog Foundation in order to help fashion a Bob-Moog-centric science of sound curriculum to be used in the Foundation’s educational efforts. Marc was ideal for this residency, as he has a degree in Music Education, and is a living result of the legacy of Bob Moog. This residency was originally intended to last a month. It was then extended to a month and a half. At the end of it, The Bob Moog Foundation asked Marc if he would relocate to Asheville, NC for a permanent position.
Marc was given the title “Archive and Education Specialist”, as his education experience and knowledge of the history of synthesis would aid with the Foundation’s educational and preservation efforts. The skills Marc developed in graphic design and video production are also a large part of his position.
At the NAMM Show, when Marc wasn’t conversing with customers, self-described synthesizer geeks, and members of the electronic music intelligentsia, Marc was curator of demonstrations on Michael Lehmann Boddicker’s noted custom Moog Modular synthesizer located in the Bob Moog Foundation booth for the duration of NAMM 2015, and demonstrating other historically relevant synthesizers the Bob Moog Foundation features in their booth.
The invention of the Moog Synthesizer in 1964 revolutionized the sonic possibilities available to music artists for expressing their creativity. Dr. Bob Moog was an innovator in the world of electronic music. For half a decade, he worked to expand the boundaries of sonic expression. His legacy of his work has forever impacted the lives of musicians, and modern music, around the world.
The Bob Moog Foundation strives to preserve the past and inspire the future. For example, second graders can participate in Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, an experiential 10-week sound science curriculum that utilizes observation and interaction with instruments such as synthesizers, theramins and kazoos. One of Marc’s duties at the Foundation is to train the teachers who will be teaching the curriculum to students.
During this years’ NAMM Show, the Bob Moog Foundation booth enjoyed visits from Stevie Wonder, Keith Emerson, David Rosenthal from Billy Joel, Morris Hayes (from Prince) among others.
Marc’s favorite experience of NAMM2015? His personal, private extended conversation with Stevie Wonder on the subject of Synthesis.
Learn More about Moog at moogfoundation.org
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