UNC Asheville receives historic Moog Model 15 synthesizer from Moog Music

Mike Adams (left) of Moog Music, joins UNC Asheville music faculty members Melodie Galloway and Wayne Kirby, standing with the new Moog Model 15. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

From UNC Asheville:

Acknowledging Bob Moog’s Love for the University’ – Moog Music Presents UNC Asheville with Gift of Historic Moog Model 15 Synthesizer

Moog Music Inc. has presented UNC Asheville with a gift of a Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer – a re-creation of the original 1973 synthesizer and one of a limited number of historic synthesizers hand-built by Moog Music using original documentation. The Model 15 was donated with proceeds from the Sub 37 Tribute, a limited edition analog synthesizer created in honor of Bob Moog, his passion for education, and his love of music.

The instrument is now part of UNC Asheville’s Bob Moog Electronic Music Studio which was dedicated in 2009 to the late electronic music pioneer and inventor Bob Moog, who served on the university’s faculty for five years as a research professor of music.

Really, this gift acknowledges Bob’s love for the university and honors all of its graduates we have working at Moog Music,” said Mike Adams, president of Moog Music, at an Oct. 17 gift presentation ceremony on campus. “Over the years we’ve had dozens of graduates, and we have more than a dozen working for us right now who’ve come to Moog Music out of the UNC Asheville program, and they’ve all been fantastic. … We’re very pleased to be able to do this, and we hope that many more students will have the opportunity to explore the creative world of electronic music through this instrument.”

This is an amazingly powerful, beautiful instrument,” says Wayne Kirby, UNC Asheville’s Paddison Distinguished Professor of Music and a veteran of the faculty who hired Moog. “It sounds like no other instrument on earth, and we’re going to have an opportunity to teach on it, use it in undergraduate research, use it with performance ensembles and electronic music, and in a new course coming this spring on experimentalism and intermedia … It is going to be an integral part of all that work.”

UNC Asheville graduates now working at Moog Music (from left) Kevin Carballo, Zac Fischman, Dylan Jordan, and (seated) Will Sparger, with Elijah Brown (in green hat), senior music technology student at the university. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville graduates now working at Moog Music (from left) Kevin Carballo, Zac Fischman, Dylan Jordan, and (seated) Will Sparger, with Elijah Brown (in green hat), senior music technology student at the university. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

Senior music technology student Elijah Brown was given a chance to work with the Moog Model 15 in advance of the ceremony, and he performed his own composition to demonstrate the synthesizer’s capabilities. “This represents endless opportunities for making different sounds,” says Brown, stressing that it was designed by Moog himself and dates from an earlier time in synthesizer development before the instruments came with pre-sets designed to produce a set menu of sounds. “It definitely has a different feel. … There are all these cables – the modules aren’t connected on the inside. It seems like more work, but you can control any parameter you want instead of just whatever is set in stone for you.”

Three UNC Asheville graduates – Kevin Forte, Zac Fischman and Dylan Jordan – were on the team of technicians responsible for the hand-built Moog Model 15 that is now part of the university’s Moog Studio. “I helped build this system and it was really fun,” says Jordan, who was hired by Moog Music last summer, shortly after graduating with a degree in music technology. A musician as well as technician, Jordan also got to explore the synthesizer’s capabilities on the job. “We have to test it out and make sure each part works, and we always take a few extra minutes to make sure it works really well, which is us playing with it.”

Music is the gateway for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and we see that over and over again,” says Adams. “UNCA – a liberal arts school with a music technology program – has produced some of the brightest technical minds we have in our organization.  The students who graduate from this school are among the best equipped employees we have in terms of their raw skill set, communication skills, and just very good people.  When I think about this liberal arts school producing some of our best and brightest and ask ‘HOW?’  I can only conclude that a foundation in music is the gateway to a fundamental understanding of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.”

Associate Professor and Music Department Chair Melodie Galloway notes, “We have the only program across the nation that offers unique experiences with Moog synthesizers and technology following the direct legacy of Bob Moog and a continuing, mutually supportive relationship with Moog Music. I personally want to thank Mike Adams and everyone at Moog for offering this gift and for their continuing commitment to our students and our university.”

UNC Asheville offers degrees in Music Technology; Music; Jazz and Contemporary Music, and a new concentration in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship which includes courses in the Music Industry and Business, and leads to a major or minor through the university’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

For more information, visit music.unca.edu.

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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