To close out today’s celebration of Dr. Robert Moog’s birthday, here’s a letter that captures an extraordinary moment in time. It’s a reminder, too, that we also live in extraordinary times today, moments that we can appreciate for their potential, without the benefit of hindsight. Today or tomorrow is the birthday of some new electronic pioneer, or some new innovation. And that’s the best kind of legacy anyone can leave.
Chris Stack writes:
Jon Hassell just shared with me a very interesting and historic letter. Very timely too, with tomorrow being Bob Moog’s Birthday celebration…
Letter to Jon Hassell
Electronic Music – The Early Years
I had a very interesting experience about one week ago. A gentleman, Mr. Robert Moog, who claims to know of you, visited Washington and demonstrated a compact electronic studio. He claims to be the only man in the country building and designing equipment solely for the creation of electronic music. He was tremendously impressed with your proposals. [For - among other things - applying the principles of electronic music manipulation to the video domain.]
He stated that he would be able to provide much of the equipment called for in those proposals at the same quality or better at considerably less cost. He also demonstrated equipment (in a crude state of development) which could provide great flexibility with extremely simple manipulation involved, almost to the point of being able to improvise an electronic composition – to be recorded or not.
He is going to send me descriptive material and quotations, copies of which I will either forward to you or hold for your interest and considerations.
Head, Music Department
Washington D. C. 20016