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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 07:13 GMT 08:13 UK
Fans pay tribute to pioneer Moog
Dr Robert Moog
Dr Moog's creations were respected by many musicians
Musicians and fans celebrated the life of synthesiser pioneer Dr Robert Moog at a memorial in North Carolina.

The inventor died on Sunday at the age of 71, four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Among those paying their respects at the Orange Peel rock club in Asheville was film composer Wendy Carlos who worked with Moog on A Clockwork Orange.

"He was a scientist who spoke music. I was a musician who spoke science," she said of their 42-year relationship.

The Moog synthesiser inspired musicians from the Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa to create new and exciting sounds.

It rose to prominence on the 1968 Grammy-winning album Switched-On Bach by Wendy Carlos.

At the memorial, composer Carlos recalled telling Moog: "I want my own synthesiser. It's that simple."

Silent room

The pioneer went to make the MiniMoog, "the first compact, easy-to-use synthesiser", in 1970, making it more practical for musicians.

Also attending the low-key service was Steve Dunington, a former student of Moog, who played Amazing Grace on a Moog synthesiser to a silent room, and local band Toubab Krewe who performed on stage flanked by two Moog synthesisers.

"In the final weeks of his life, he was bedridden," recalled Matt Moog, son of the late pioneer.

"He often was brought to tears as he envisioned himself dancing to Toubab Krewe with his wife, Ileana."

"To those of you who are wearing ties, I think my dad would appreciate it if you took them off."

Moog was awarded the Polar prize - Sweden's "music Nobel prize" - in 2001.

'Sir Bob'

Before the service, former Yes member Rick Wakeman paid tribute to Moog, saying he "changed the face of popular music".

"If he had been British he would have been knighted for sure and been Sir Bob," keyboardist Wakeman told the BBC News website.

Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman was a close friend of the inventor

"He was a genius and a gentleman. A rare combination. I, and keyboard players past, present and future, owe a debt of gratitude to this great man."

He added: "He will live for ever in what he gave to music. We always had such great fun whenever we met up.

"I shall miss him immensely. His loss is immeasurable, but his memory and legacy eternal."

As well as his wife Ileanna and son Matt, Moog is survived by three daughters, a stepdaughter, and his former wife, Shirleigh Moog.

Listen to a Moog synthesiser clip by Wendy Carlos

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