This past Friday and Saturday, I attended Moogfest 2016, an event that I’ve wanted to attend for several years.
Personal highlights were seeing and playing the Moog Minimoog Model D reissue, checking out the gear in the Moog Pop Up Shop, attending a talk featuring Tatsuya Takahashi (designer of the Korg Minilogue), getting to hear famed producer Daniel Lanois speak and play, and walking around downtown Durham, NC and the American Tobacco Campus. Downtown Durham is interesting in that it has such a distinct identity, much like downtown Roanoke, VA.
One of the unfortunate lowpoints was feeling rather underwhelmed after playing the Minimoog Model D synthesizer. I’m thankful for the opportunity to play the reissue of this iconic instrument and hope Moog’s effort to bring it back to production is successful. But I’m glad modern synths have advanced far beyond its 1970s era capabilities which for the most part it retains. At its heart it’s an instrument begging to be played. Howvever, at $3500 it’s a nostalgia piece. Nice to have, but not necessary.
Another downer was that there seemed to be few sessions for musicians and their needs and interests. Most of the talks I attended were geared more towards the engineer types which is fine. Without engineers we wouldn’t have synthesizers. Nevertheless, I’d like to see the addition of creative music making focused sessions in future Moogfests. After all, without musicians engineers wouldn’t have a market to which to sell their creations.
Overall, despite those relatively minor points, it was a very interesting and informative event which one should experience at least once. I’m hoping that since Moog invited a Korg designer to speak at this year’s conference that it bodes well for the possibility of Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim coming to speak at a future Moogfest. If that happens, I’ll definitely be attending again.
‘Til next time.