The Moog DocumentaryThe Robert Moog Documentary is a piece written and directed by Hans Fjellestad and produced in 2004. Hans Fjellestad is a documentary film maker, music composer and a pianist who is based in California. The documentary is about Moog, who is portrayed as the inventor of the modern synthesizer, a sound engineer, and a very articulate theorist. Also, he is also an unabashed mystic about the links between the cosmos, people, and the machines. This is clearly shown in Hans Fjellestad’s first scene of the documentary, where Mr. Moog points out in a perfect and reasonable voice that “I can feel what is going on inside of a piece of electronic equipment.” The author describes the invention process as an opening in the mind of a person that lets out ideas to come through from above. He views this as a strenuous and organized thinking. He further ventures into speculative realm when he suggests that all matter is a form of energy, and hence any material object is likely to respond to energy vibrations.
From the documentary, it is evident that one does not have to go along with Moog’s philosophical flights to find him as a thoughtful, sympathetic and provocative character. However, there are professional musicians who have been dragged out of business by Moog’s invention might disagree about this. This documentary offers one a fascinating historical view at the technology employed during the 60’s in pop music. Before the synthesizer became popular on the wings of the album “Switched-On Bach”, he used to develop esoteric electronic music and as a cheaper substitute for the acoustic equipment in commercial. At some point, Moog thinks that the keyboard format has encouraged musicians to use the instrument as a melodic instrument rather than using it as an sound explanatory machine. It was through the Moog synthesizers that the word spacey was coined to define music as synonymous with science fiction. Moreover, Rick Wakeman, the keyboardist, describes the mini-Moog as the best musical innovation of the modern times since it allowed the keyboard to produce a volume that is competent with the electric guitar.
This piece of documentary tries to persuade the audience that the music history over the past century is based more on technology and sound as the family tree of different stylistic influences. The information in the documentary has helped me to understand popular music better than I had known it. From this documentary, one can see how the invention of Moog synthesizers has catapulted the use of electronic equipment in the production of popular and melodic music. At some point, the piece seems to be biased since Keith Emerson, and Rick Wakeman have been portrayed as the primary art-rock pioneers who embraced the synthesizers while Stevie Wonder has not been mentioned in any part of the achievements. Research indicates that Wonder eschewed the technical fireworks for the organic use of the equipment. However most information produced was accurate according to the timeline of the Moog synthesizers.
It is an interesting documentary to any person and helps educate a music student on the trends on how the electronic sound systems have evolved from the previous century. The student is also able to learn the significant influence of Robert Moog on the improvement in the music industry and how he inspires other musicians to follow his path.
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