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Moogfest Fans Descend On Downtown Durham This Weekend

An image of Sammy Bananas playing at Moogfest in Asheville, 2014
Moogfest
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Moogfest -- the event that celebrates music, art and technology from around the world -- is expected to attract thousands to the Bull City May 19 to 22, 2016.

Moogfest -- the event that celebrates music, art and technology from around the world -- is expected to attract thousands to the Bull City this weekend.

Moogfest combines panels and exhibits on creative technology in the music industry with concerts featuring Moog synthesizers, named after the electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

Inventor Robert Moog shown with examples of early Moog synthesizers.
Credit Public Domain
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Public Domain
Moogfest 2016 comes to downtown Durham May 19- 22, 2016.

Watch a live stream of Moogfest 2016 here

The festival began in New York City in 2004 and moved to Asheville, the adopted home of Robert Moog, in 2010. Moog began working with early electronic music circuits and keyboards in the early 1960s and continued to develop the Moog analog synthesizer for much of his remaining lifetime.

He had also been a research professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He died in Asheville in 2005.

Moogfest is known for presenting performances by early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant garde experimentalists of today. Over the last several years, the festival has evolved to include a conference for creative and technology professionals. In 2014, Moogfest worked with Google Creative Lab, MIT Media Lab, EYEO and the New Museum on innovative concepts for daytime programming.

Among this weekend’s highlights:

Photo of Nick Sanborn
Credit Endless Endless
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Nick Sanborn released his debut EP Penumbra under the moniker Made of Oak in 2015.

Made of Oak

Nick Sanborn has been composing synthesized songs for more than decade as he's played with bands like Megafaun and Sylvan Esso.

Last year, Sanborn released his debut EP Penumbra under the moniker Made of Oak.

The EP combines Sanborn's passion for electronic soundscapes with creative composition.

Olivia Block
Composer Olivia Block is one of more than 100 musicians performing at Moogfest this week in Durham. She is well-known in the world of electronic music but is also perfectly happy writing for violins.
But what she really loves are micro-cassettes.

The little tapes that used to be the heart of every answering machine and dictaphone. She buys them up in batches on eBay. “Blank,” they say.

But often they are not blank at all.

Block keeps a collection of her favorite excerpts on a portable recording device. She carries it with her, everywhere.

She also loves sounds that don’t often count as music. She’s a connoisseur of noises — the grunt of a bus, the whirr of a fan.

Prior to her visit, producer David Schulman asked her to take us on a sonic tour of the city where she lives, Chicago:

Moogfest Fans Descend On Downtown Durham This Weekend
Composer Olivia Block is one of more than 100 musicians performing at Moogfest this week in Durham.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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