Letter to Jon Hassell re Bob Moog

Back in 2012, Jon Hassell sent me the text of a letter sent to him in 1964; a small look at a unique slice of history:

16nov64 – Letter to Jon Hassell

Electronic Music – The Early Years

I had a very interesting experience about one week ago. A gentleman, Mr. Robert Moog, who claims to know of you, visited Washington and demonstrated a compact electronic studio. He claims to be the only man in the country building and designing equipment solely for the creation of electronic music. He was tremendously impressed with your proposals. [For – among other things – applying the principles of electronic music manipulation to the video domain.]

He stated that he would be able to provide much of the equipment called for in those proposals at the same quality or better at considerably less cost. He also demonstrated equipment (in a crude state of development) which could provide great flexibility with extremely simple manipulation involved, almost to the point of being able to improvise an electronic composition – to be recorded or not.

He is going to send me descriptive material and quotations, copies of which I will either forward to you or hold for your interest and considerations.

Lloyd Ultan

Head, Music Department
American University
Washington D. C. 20016

For more history like this, visit The Bob Moog Foundation


Receiving this letter was very special occasion for me, not only because it shone a small but interesting light on Bob Moog’s early days, but also because Jon Hassell is one of my very favorite musicians.

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