Moogfest began back in 2004 as a way to honor the ingenuity of Dr. Robert Moog. The festival began in New York City and has since moved to Asheville where Moog spent the last 30 years of his life. The performing artists are all people who pioneer in their respective fields and have embodied the innovative spirit of Moog. In addition to the great music, the festival also offers panels, workshops, a film festival, art installations and much more.
Keeping in the spirit of innovation, Moogfest will also host it’s 4th Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge. So what is circuit bending? Circuit bending is the art of creating unique instruments by tinkering with various electronic devices such as keyboards, children’s toys, drum machines, and basically any other electrical device that generates some type of noise. It is a very experimental and chance-based art form that is the perfect hybrid between music and electronics that so perfectly embodies Moogfest.
Each year the festival receives lots of different entries from people of all walks of life. They select a few finalists who receive a pair of passes to the festival and the chance to showcase their work. This year, they received so many great submissions that they had to choose five finalists. The winners will be chosen on the last day of the festival and the top 3 finalists will win a Moog synth. To see the finalists, check out the YouTube playlist here.
The circuit bending challenge entrants are tasked with making an instrument that creates new and unique sounds through circuit bending with a total cost $70 or less. By confining the cost, Moog keeps the competition close to its humble beginnings while forcing entrants to create truly innovative instruments with limited resources. Be sure to check out the circuit bending finalists as well as all of the other amazing innovations at Moogfest!