The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Bernie Krause To Receive Moog Innovator Award
Kristen Gallerneaux , May 16th, 2018 14:30

Bernie Krause is to join the likes of Suzanne Ciani and Brian Eno as a recipient of the Moog Innovation Award

Moog Music has announced that Bernie Krause will be the recipient of the Moog Innovation Award at Moogfest 2018.

In the mid-1960s, Krause and Paul Beaver pooled their life savings to purchase one of the first Moog Synthesizer III systems at a cost of $15,000. The duo subsequently used the instrument on a sessions basis, using it to tease out a then-elusive sonic signature desired by mainstream pop musicians.

Krause and Beaver's Moog was used on the Monkees' 'Star Collector', and on recordings by the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Peter Gabriel. Krause also contributed to hundreds of film soundtracks including Performance, Apocalypse Now and Rosemary's Baby - providing not only standard musical scores, but the recreation of natural landscapes via synthesis.

Beaver and Krause's 1970 studio album In A Wild Sanctuary "broke ground as the first album to be encoded in quadraphonic sound, and introduced the art of soundscape by pairing the electronic sounds of the Moog Synthesizer with natural field recordings collected by Krause - laying the foundation for ambient music some years later," says Moog Music.

Released exclusively to The Quietus is a mini-documentary that documents the recording of their follow-up, 1971 Gandharva, recorded in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. You can watch that clip above.

Krause describes the process: "At first, we looked for a place with great echo and thought that we'd check out a decommissioned Nike missile silo just north of Sacramento. Paul, otherwise an ultra-conservative man in most respects, really had had enough of the Vietnam war by that time and even he was ready to make a radical statement.

"As we were lowering a 3-M 8-track down to the bottom of hole, the rope gave way and the damned thing went crashing about fifty feet to the bottom of the pit where it fractured into a thousand pieces, transistor fragments, meter pieces, wire segments, twisted metal everywhere. Not a single recognisable scrap of any part remained.

"Undaunted (but a lot poorer because we owed the rental company some serious compensation for the recorder), we ended up renting Grace Cathedral - with a reveration time of seven seconds - for two nights in January of 1971."

Moogfest, the annual music, art and technology festival - based in Durham, North Carolina - will host a number of tQ favourites later this month, including Emptyset, DJ Haram, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mouse on Mars and Katie Gately. For more information, click here.