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Synth and Software, June 2020

Geary Yelton

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About this Month’s Cover: Michelle Moog-Koussa and the Bob Moog Foundation

In 1978, free from the company he founded and enamored with the Blue Ridge Mountains, synthesizer designer and self-described toolmaker Bob Moog pulled up roots and relocated his family to the countryside near Asheville, North Carolina. That’s where his daughter Michelle Moog-Koussa spent most of her formative years and where she remains. After her father passed away in 2005, she founded the Bob Moog Foundation and became its executive director. The nonprofit foundation is not associated with the manufacturer Moog Music and relies on donations to continue their work continuing Bob’s legacy.

Since its founding, the Bob Moog Foundation has hosted many fundraisers, from raffles and events like last year’s Moogmentum to last month’s Moogmentum in Place, a series of online concerts on Facebook Live. One of their ongoing projects is Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, an educational outreach program for elementary schoolchildren. But the far financially riskier project is the Moogseum, a museum in downtown Asheville dedicated to the history of electronic instruments and the life of Bob Moog. The Moogseum has been closed since the coronavirus lockdown began. In order to reopen after the storm has passed, it’s totally dependent on donations and online merch sales.

In 2014, one of these fundraising events was a concert in Asheville by Erik Norlander, a devoted supporter of the foundation, and his band The Galactic Collective (seen in the video above). After the show, a few of us gathered to get a better look at the historical instruments onstage, including an early prototype of the Polymoog called the Moog Apollo. That’s where I took the photo of Michelle that graces our June cover.

The Bob Moog Foundation does good work. Once the Moogseum reopens, it’s guaranteed to be a fascinating stop whenever you visit Asheville. Please do what you can to support this worthy cause. In the meantime, visit the Bob Moog Foundation and the Moogseum online.

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