1963 was a monumental year in the history of electronic music. Bob Moog, inspired by composer Herbert A. Deutsch, designed and built the very first Moog Modular Synthesizer. The impact of his invention cannot be overstated as it single-handedly revolutionized the world of electronic music, transforming the genre and shaping much of how we understand it today. At first glance, these massive machines (jam-packed with knobs, jacks, and cables) looked nothing like musical instruments, but more like scientific laboratory equipment or telephone switchboards. Nevertheless, musicians were drawn to its unique palette of electronic sounds and were eager to take full advantage of the unlimited sonic capabilities.
Forever changing the public’s “bloops & beeps”, sci-fi perception of the instrument, Wendy Carlos released “Switched On Bach” (1968) – a collection of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach performed entirely on a Moog Synthesizer. Unlike previous experimental albums utilizing synthesizers, this record brought electronic music to the mainstream, peaking on the US Billboard 200 chart at number 10.
Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the worldwide success of Carlos’ album brought forth a deluge of Moog-related albums – featuring everything from Jazz to Space Rock. Inevitably, Christmas music would also receive the Moog treatment, in all its holiday decadence and cheesy glory. Let’s stroll back to a time when electronic music was in its infancy and synthesizers provided a sense of child-like wonder and amazement. Also included are some more recent interpretations of this quirky Moog Christmas music. Get in the holiday “MOOG”!
Sy Mann w/ Jean-Jacques Perry "Jingle Bells" (1969)
The Moog Machine "Joy To The World" (1969)
Douglas Leedy "Deck The Halls" (1971)
The Moog Cookbook "Winter Wonderland" (2005)
Mark Campbell "I Saw Three Ships" (2012)
YO! Check out the documentary "Moog" right here.