Moogfest 2011 – In Honor of Bob Moog: Brian Eno, Richard Devine, Kode9, Moby, Matthew Dear, Zomby +

Bob Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer once said, “I was never worried that synthesizers would replace musicians…you have to be a musician in order to make music with a synthesizer.” As music technology has continued to run headlong into the future this basic truth will remain, however Moog’s singular transformation of the music industry and what it sounds is irreplaceable.

In honor of Moog’s sonic innovations, the 3-day festival Moogfest brings together today’s best futurist music producers for a weekend of forward-thinking musical explorations. The event claims that Moog’s cast of synthesizer characters: the Little Phatty, the Minimoog Voyager, the Etherwave Theremin, Moogerfoogers, and the Moog Guitar will play prominent roles in the festival, not least of which will be the the personality of these machines intrinsic to many of festival’s featured artists.

Of the massive, wide-ranging array of acts at this year’s Moogfest, inimitable producer, sound designer, and visual artist Brian Eno will be at the festival’s center. Eno’s “visual music” exhibition titled “77 Million Paintings” will be on display in Asheville’s YMI Cultural Center.

With the incorporation of his Lumen London company, Eno first created 77 Million Paintings in 2006 to bring art to the increasing number of flat panel TV’s and monitors that sit darkened and underutilized. By using multiple-monitor configurations that are easily manipulated and controlled, Lumen is now showing large-scale installations of 77 Million Paintings in galleries and public spaces around the world.

A piece from Eno’s “77 Million Paintings.”

In addition to this exhibition, Eno will be giving an “illustrated talk,” sold separately from the festival’s main events.

For anyone who has ever wished they could peer into the brilliant mind of Brian Eno, this is your chance. Armed with an overhead projector, Eno will lay bare his thoughts on generative art, haircuts, music history, screwdrivers, and the vast complexities behind them all.

Other points of interest come in a great collection of workshops and panels on how Moog sounds and machines have transformed some of today’s best musicians. Neon Indian will be a part of a panel on the theremin, while Dan Deacon and Tara Busch (of Analog Suicide) will show off their Moogerfooger skills. Also in attendance will be Richard Devine, joined by Moby and Moog sound engineers to discuss the Animoog, a professional synthesizer for the iPad.

Screenshot from Moog’s Animoog synthesizer app for the iPad.

For our Dubspot recommendations of the weekend’s live performances, Moby, who did a great interview with us at Seattle’s Decibel Festival is likely to deliver as Friday’s big headliner. Zomby will also be in attendance Friday, despite the quality of his live performance being notorious as of late. If Zomby doesn’t perk up, Flying Lotus will come through with one of the best live performances of 2012. On Saturday be sure to go see Amon Tobin perform his latest record Isam, which features an absolutely stunning visual experience that he has debuted over the last few months. Tim Hecker and Kode9 will play Saturday as well, each with stand out records released this year—Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972 and Kode9 & The Spaceape’s Black Sun.

Trailer to Amon Tobin’s Isam A/V Performance.

Sunday, the final day of the festival, M83 take the stage as a major headliner. His recently released record Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a nearly perfect piece of cinematic synth-pop that’s likely to be epic, dreamy and cathartic in a live setting. Also in attendance is previous Dubspot featured artist Baths, who will be sharing in M83’s sugary pop limelight.

M83 – “Midnight City”