The Minimoog Project
Workshop Sebastian Berweck
Hybrid workshop: Performers will work on-site in Darmstadt, composers remotely
Workshop dates: four days tba with the performer in Darmstadt and the composers remotely. Composers and musicians arrange additional rehearsals individually online.
Participants: Composers (already chosen from Call for Sketches & Concepts, registered for composition) and performers (having signed up before, see below)
Prerequisites for participation / tech requirements (to be brought by the participants): Possibility to compose for the instrument / perform on the instrument. Here is what you need: either an original Minimoog or the Moog Reissue or the very cheap analogue clone by Behringer, the Behringer Model D. However, you can also use some very good software: the Moog Minimoog app for the iPad or the Monark by Native Instruments. Please do not use the software clones by Arturia, GMedia, Creamware or U-He, they differ too much from the real thing. If you are using software, please remember that we would want to stick to the original instruments which basically means: no fast switching from one preset to another.
Besides the instrument you should bring your own devices (effect machines/controllers).
The Moog Minimoog is probably the most iconic instrument of the last 50 years and defined the synthesizer as we know it. It has a distinct but varied sound and can be heard in countless recordings of the last 50 years – Giorgio Moroder, Pop Corn, Wendy Carlos, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Daft Punk, Nine Inch Nails, Sun Ra, Kraftwerk, Michael Jackson, Parliament and many others have used the Minimoog in their music. It would actually be more apt to ask who didn’t use it. However, for one reason or another it just doesn’t appear in contemporary classical music. The Minimoog Project wants to change that.
We’re looking for composers who want to write for the Moog Minimoog and we’re looking for performers who want to play the Minimoog. The Minimoog is not a complicated instrument; in fact it’s quite simple for an electronic instrument. The Minimoog is a very expensive instrument, though, but there’s a solution for this: the Behringer Model D is a very affordable clone of the Minimoog and the sound is spot on. All you need is a 300 $ Behringer Model D (buy second hand for a better price or borrow one from a rock star friend or ask the electronic studio of your university) and a MIDI keyboard (USB or classic 5-pin).
The Minimoog can be augmented in two ways: by attaching controllers to it and by attaching effect units to it. The simplest way would be to attach a larger keyboard to it, but a breath controller, an MPE device like the Roli Rise or any kind of sensors will work, too. In fact you can attach it to the power grid or a toaster as long as there’s current flowing. The sound can be altered by the usual effects devices such a Flanger, Reverb, Wha-Wha, Eurorack Modules or whatever you want to plug the Minimoog into. And the best thing is that it can be rerouted back into the device for endless feedback loops if you wish.
If you need technical help we’re here to help you while preparing, while writing, while setting up, while practicing until we meet in Darmstadt. Via Skype, E-mail, telephone, whatever suits you. What we will try to do is pair composers and performers so that everybody has somebody who will play their piece and everybody have a piece to work on. In Darmstadt, we’ll all meet, practice, discuss and play the pieces in a friendly, supportive and collaborative way. And after Darmstadt we have compositions for the Minimoog that can be played and recorded in concerts everywhere.
No selection process for performers, but “first come, first served”. Summer course participants will be informed by the end of June how to sign up.
If you have questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!