Moogfest Fans Descend On Downtown Durham This Weekend
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.
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:
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.
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: