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Moogfest Celebrates Convergence of Art-Technology-Music In the Hometown of MOOG

Nile Rodgers With Chis at Outside Lands 2013
Nile Rodgers With Chis at Outside Lands 2013
L Paul Mann

Moogfest Celebrates Convergence of Art-Technology-Music
In the Hometown of the Moog Synthesizer Asheville, North Carolina.
By L. Paul Mann

While one of the most established music festivals in the country, The South By Southwest music marathon winds down in Austin Texas, another American city, Asheville, North Carolina is preparing for a very different, but no less interesting event, the Moogfest. Asheville, the hometown of Dr Robert Moog and his famous Moog synthesizer factory, is gearing up, literally and figuratively, to celebrate the tenth annual Moogfest. The festival, which is expanding to five days this year, from April 23-27th, offers up daytime multimedia events and lectures, as well as night time live music events in at least 11 different locations. The impressive International line up of performers, from a multitude of different musical genres, share one common link, the use of Moog synthesizers in their music. The impressive array of artists set to perform include, Classic English rocker Keith Emerson, Germany's electronic music pioneers, Kraftwerk, English New Wave pop duo The Pet Shop Boys, English anarchistic pop singer MIA, guitar legend Nile Rodgers with his band Chic, Italian pioneer in EDM music Giorgio Moroder, a rare performance by UK's Darkstar, German trio Moderat, Dillon Francis and Riff Raff of Mad Descent fame, Zeds Dead, El-P, Factory Floor, Bennie Worrell Orchestra, and at least 70 other talented experimental bands from across the globe.

Asheville is not unlike Austin in that both are bohemian bastions of art,culture, and liberal thinking, found in otherwise politically and culturally conservative states. Asheville has been an East Coast refuge for liberal thinkers as far back as the 1960's, with a steady influx of hipsters enjoying the natural beauty as well as the cultural diversity. Asheville sits on the edge of the most visited National Park in the U.S., Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No doubt festival attendees will want to spend part of their days exploring the areas natural beauty. But they most likely will want to be back in town by 3pm each day to explore the unique possibilities that the day schedule of the Moogfest offers up. The day time program is billed as five days of mind-expanding conversation, experimentation, and collaboration for creative technology professionals, across seven venues in downtown Asheville. Just some of the fascinating highlights of the conference include; appearances by David X. Cohen, of Simpsons fame, experimental singer Janelle Monae, improvised performances by several members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Giorgio Moroder presenting a screening of the classic movie Scarface, and talking about creating the soundtrack, and Nile Rodgers explaining how he helped create some of pop music's biggest hits for the last 40 years. From his origins with funk disco masters Chic, to his career as a producer of songs for Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna, Daft Punk, and Avicii, he may have one of the most contemporary relevant careers in pop music history. His night time performance with Chic will be a funky dance inspiring highlight of the festival, as well. The festival will also feature real science lectures and demonstrations revolving around the synthesizer, from lectures by some of the brightest new minds at Google and MIT Media labs, to an actual class in how to build your own synthesizer. Single day tickets start at just $49.00, with a variety of options, including special multi-day VIP packages starting at $499.00.

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