Saturday, March 12, 2016

R.I.P. Keith Emerson

We interrupt this Blog with yet another sad announcement of the passing of a major musical figure. This time it is Keith Emerson, the brilliant keyboardist of the famed prog-rock band "Emerson, Lake, and Palmer." I had the fortune to meet him and briefly work with him on producing sound charts for the "Mini-Moog" synthesizer, when I worked for Moog Music in the summer of 1973. I did the graphics and some of the sound testing for the charts, which were designed to show a user how to set the knobs and controls on the synthesizer to get the desired sound. We included some settings that were developed in collaboration with Keith, who was patient enough to offer up suggestions and test results. Here is a copy of a page I worked on at Moog. I was given the basic circle and square diagram of the synthesizer control panel, and all the points and indicators where to set things were mine. When we were done I asked Keith if he would sign the "ELP" sound chart and he graciously did so. You can see his autograph if you click on the page.

And this is what the cover of the MiniMoog sound charts looked like in the 1970s. This is from a 1977 reprint. The design is not my work.

Time to find and listen after all these years to Keith Emerson's legacy. As with all of them, their music will live on.

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