Moog Music Produces GIANTS, a Miniseries You Don’t Want to Miss
The first episode of the legendary synthesizer manufacturer’s docuseries, GIANTS, was released recently, and it focuses on the invaluable work of Herb Deutsch.
GIANTS tells the story of “legendary electronic musicians and innovators to express themselves through the art of storytelling.” Filmed and produced by the employee-owners of Moog, the series honors and preserves the legacy of these artists and their rarely heard stories for future generations of musicians. Moog Music presents these pioneering stories through a compilation of interviews, original music, and archival footage in GIANTS. Beyond the first episode covering Deutsch, future episodes will focus on the lives and work of pioneers like early modular synthesize adopter Bernie Krause, modular synthesis legend Suzanne Ciani, and Mute Records founder Daniel Miller.
Moog Music has been producing synthesizers since 1953. Originally called the RA Moog Co., the company was founded by Dr. Robert Moog and his father in New York City. The RA Moog Co. sold Theramin kits to subsidize Moog’s education costs. After a financial recession impacted the organization, the pair sold the company to Norlin Musical Instruments and in 1972, renamed it Moog Music. During this time, Dr. Moog remained on as a designer until 1977, when he left the company to start a new venture, Big Briar. Moog Music ultimately declared bankruptcy in 1987, and in 2002 the Moog Music trademark was returned to Dr. Moog, with Big Briar resuming operations under the name.
The first episode of GIANTS focuses on the life and work of Deutsch, a composer, educator, and inventor. Perhaps best known for his role in co-inventing the Moog Synthesizer alongside Dr. Bob Moog, Deutsch discovered his gift for music at four years old. After earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, Deutsch assembled a theremin based on Moog’s design in 1962. The following year, he introduced himself to Dr. Moog at a music-education conference in New York, and by 1964 the duo began looking into the development of a new instrument that would aid composers, a design that would eventually become the Moog synthesizer. Deutsch is credited for implementing the keyboard interface of the Moog and composing the first piece ever for the instrument.
We spoke with Logan Kelly, the Brand Director for Moog Music, on the impact this docuseries has on the industry. “Ever since Bob Moog collaborated with Herb Deutsch to develop the first Modular Synthesizer, Moog Music has been driven by our meaningful relationships with artists. Our company would not exist without the trailblazing artists who founded and evolved electronic music. This series is a love letter to those artists, a way for us to honor and thank the people who helped change what our world sounds like.”
NAMM has also had the privilege of documenting some of the icons featured throughout GIANTS as part of the NAMM Oral History Program including Dr. Moog, Suzanne Ciani, Herbert Deutsch, and Bernie Krause.