Whether you like synthesizers or not (I don’t, much), you should check out the “audio slide show” on Robert Moog that’s been posted at the New York Times website. (Click on “The Music of Robert Moog.”) Moog, who invented the synthesizer, died on Sunday.
What I like most about the Times’ multimedia exhibit, narrated by music critic Allan Kozinn, are the generous sound clips from the Moog synthesizer’s early days: a longish snippet from Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s loathsome “Lucky Man” (on which the synth is used mainly for stupid sound effects), a bit from Wendy Carlos’s “Switched-On Bach” (the wonderfully creepy soundtrack to “A Clockwork Orange”) and the Beatles’ characteristically melodic and restrained use of the instrument on “Abbey Road.”
Amazon.com has some terrific clips from “Switched-On Bach” here. The CD is ranked #154 in sales this hour, no doubt a reaction to Moog’s death.
Correction: Media Nation is reliably informed that the soundtrack to “A Clockwork Orange” was actually a sequel to “Switched-On Bach,” heavily flavored by Beethoven.