As kids, we grew up knowing that our father had done something remarkable, but it was rarely talked about in the house. Dad didn't talk about work much… at home he just wanted to be Dad. So, it was through thousands of testimonials that were sent to my family during his illness and passing that I came to learn for the first time, at 37 years old, that my dad's work had touched and even transformed people's lives all over the worldby Michelle Moog-Koussa
It was this revelation of his reach and impact on so many people that motivated Michelle Moog-Koussa and her family to form the Bob Moog Foundation. Now in its 13th year, the BMF honors Bob Moog through its stated mission "to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history and innovation."
The non-profit Bob Moog Foundation is focused on three main projects:
Dr. Bob's SoundSchool: an innovative, experiential 10-week curriculum that teaches second-grade students the physics of sound using both acoustic and electronic musical instruments including the theremin, and technological tools, like oscilloscopes. The children get an interactive and immersive experience with making sound (and musical sound) through a STEAM-based curriculum developed by the foundation's education staff. Teachers are trained in the curriculum and the project has grown to be carried out in over 100 classrooms and has served over 12,000 students to date. The effort has been expanded over the last few years to also include summer camps.
Archiving (and restoring when needed) many of Bob Moog's schematics, writings, and prototypes/instruments. is another goal of the foundation. This includes breadboard prototypes, over 5,000 photos, articles and project notes, over 2,500 schematics, correspondence and other writings, memorabilia, recordings, and instruments. These items are now being made available for public viewing at the BMF's third project:
The Moogseum is a newly opened storefront facility to view and interact with all aspects of Moog's work, life and writings. The many highly experiential exhibits allow the attendee to try instruments, and hear many of Moog's ideas and experiences in his own voice. Exhibits include an interactive timeline of Bob's life, a "History Of Synthesis" timeline, and a "learning Synthesis" hands-on experience. Just recently opened, the Moogseum has already been featured by Billboard and Fast Company magazines, and by The Verge, Atlas Obscura, and 5Mag.net, who proclaimed that the Moogseum "may be the coolest museum in the world."
All of us in the electronic music realm owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Moog and his groundbreaking work. It is heartening to see these efforts to both explore and preserve his work and history, along with forward-thinking initiatives to stimulate children's interest in sound, electronics and music.
The Foundation raises money in a number of ways, the most popular amongst musicians and followers are their semi-annual raffles of coveted vintage Moog instruments, many signed by such celebrities as Rick Wakeman, Stevie Wonder, Jan Hammer, Dr. Matt Fink, and others.
Members of the musical instrument/soundware community have helped the Foundation over the years with wonderful projects to help raise funds for these efforts. These include Spectrasonics' Bob Moog Tribute library, MOTU/UVI's Bob Moog Foundation Encore Soundbank, and Native Instrument's Modular Icons soundware.
Michelle remembers, "once I asked my father, 'what inspires you in your work?' He answered in two words, 'the musicians.' They were his guiding force. From the moment avant-garde jazz composer Herb Deutsch coaxed expressive musical performance from the first circuits my father developed, Dad was blown away. And that inspired him to continue down this totally unknown sonic path. That inspiration he would glean from musicians would inform his entire career. With Dr. Bob's SoundSchool we are committed to feeding the next generation's potential for discovery and inspiration."
The BMF is an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and is not associated with Moog Music, Inc.
You can help the Bob Moog Foundation by supporting the projects, above donating directly or purchasing items from the online store.
Dr. Bob did contribute to MIDI. MIDI was first introduced at the Winter NAMM show in 1983. In 1984 at the next NAMM show, Bob helped to put together the MIDI Evolutionary Conference where Bob Moog, Brian Vincek (International MIDI Association) , Anne Graham (Oberheim) , John Bowen (Sequential Circuits) , Jim Smerdel (Yamaha), and Curt Simmons were elected to the MIDI Evolutionary Committee.