Clara Rockmore (March 9, 1911 – May 10, 1998) was a pioneer in electronic music. Her artistry and technique on the theremin put her in the same league as some of the other legendary women instrumentalists of 20th century — musicians like pianist Dame Myra Hess, the great Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.
From a very early age, Clara was an accomplished young violinist but as it turned out, she eventually had to abandon the instrument because of chronic physical difficulties due to childhood malnutrition and she took up the theremin. Later in her life she said that Leon Theremin saved her “musical sanity” by introducing her to the theremin. She had extremely precise, rapid control of her movements, important in playing an instrument that depends on the performer’s motion and proximity rather than touch. She also had the advantage of working directly with Léon Theremin from the early days of the instrument’s commercial development in the United States.
It is easy to understand why Leon Theremin, the inventor of the instrument that bears his name, was deeply in love with Clara. Apart from being brilliantly talented as a musician and thereminist, she was strikingly beautiful.
Clara Rockmore died in the spring of 1998 leaving a small but important legacy of her recordings which include The Art of Theremin (produced by Robert Moog in 1977) and a stunning, live, 1945 performance of the Concerto for Theremin and Orchestra by the American composer Anis Fuleihan (with the orchestra under the direction of the great Leopold Stokowski). Both these recordings have been reissued on CD.
Robert Moog, 35, who designed the best known of the electronic
musical synthesizers, makes final adjustment on the Moog Synthesizer
prior to a jazz concert at Museum of Modern Art, Aug. 28, 1969, New
York. Two quartets played four Moogs during the hour and a half long
concert in the Museums open air sculpture garden. Some 4,000 persons
attended the concert.
Anthony Stramaglia brought along a Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument (or CMI). Keep in mind that these are very hard to find in as complete condition as the one seen here.
But then it gets better: this is Fairlight CMI serial number 25, formerly owned by the legendary Robert Moog. I will say that again, this was Dr. Robert Moog’s Fairlight CMI.
It sounded amazing – and the sound was so dynamic. The amount of configurations that this machine was capable of was astounding! Throughout the weekend, various classic synth tunes could be heard belted out across the floor, and they sounded even more wonderful in person than on recordings. It was a thing of beauty to behold for both the eyes and the ears. The one that is stuck in my head was a rendition of Subdivisions by Rush
A more portable version was created and the “Minimoog” was played by a number of musicians, most notably by Jan Hammer in the Mahavishnu Orchestra beginning in 1971. The Minimoog proved versatile enough to allow Hammer to solo with equal musicality/facility to that of his colleagues John McLaughlin on guitar and Jerry Goodman on violin. Avant garde jazz musician Sun Ra often used the Moog as his instrument of choice to achieve his unique sound. A custom Moog Modular System was also featured prominently onEmerson, Lake & Palmer’s song “Lucky Man”, Keith Emerson’s Moog solo at the end. Another famous use of the Moog was in Tangerine Dream’s electronic landmark albumPhaedra in 1974, which was a major hit in the UK—it reached #15 on the British album charts and playing a significant role in establishing the fledgling independent label Virgin Records.
MOOG, is a documentary about Robert Moog, inventor of the modern synthesiser, & is a portrait of the legendary figure in music and technology. His ideas about creativity, design, interactivity, spirituality and his collaborations with musicians over the years is expressed throughout the film.
@airofficial “Electronics innovator Robert Moog was born on this day in 1934. In his honor, watch Nico and JB perform "Do The Joy” Live on KCRW’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’. JB plays his vintage Moog synthesizer"