Wed May 23, 2012
Challenge: Use The Moog Doodle To Play The 'All Things Considered' Theme
Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 6:05 pm
You've probably know by now that Google is paying homage to Robert Moog today with a Doodle that's a virtual version of the iconic Moog Synthesizer. Moog died in 2005. Today would have been his 78th birthday.
As with last year's Google tribute to Les Paul, you can use the Moog to create, record and share tunes. Folks are already doing that. Check out this video on "how to play Black Sabbath's Iron Man on the Google Doodle Moog."
Now, we claim no musical talent. But we bet many of you know your way around a keyboard. So here's a challenge: Use the Moog Doodle to recreate a version of All Things Considered's theme song. Then share your work by giving us a link in this post's comments thread. Or, share your link on the NPR Facebook page. We'll try to spotlight the best efforts (and maybe, just maybe, some might make it on the air).
Need a refresher on what the current ATC theme song sounds like? We're embedding a clip. You can also hear it here.
And as for how to work the Moog Doodle, here's a nearly 16-minute long instructional video. We suspect you don't need to know all the tips in it.
By the way, as ATC staff producer Art Silverman reminds us, the show's theme has changed substantially over the years. On the show's 31st anniversary, in 2002, NPR's Bob Boilen reported about Don Voegeli, the theme's composer and the theme song's evolution. As Bob said, Voegeli used a synthesizer (a Putney, not a Moog) on the first version. Voegeli died in 2009.
Here are a couple early versions of the theme. Feel free to try to recreate them as well:
Update at 5:53 p.m. ET. The Perfect Version?:
We received two submissions on Facebook that put together would in our opinion create the perfect theme.
Josh Rist got the melody just right.
And Corey Chapman nailed the accompaniment.
Also, Jay Carlson in the comments, who said the challenge gave him a break from his master's thesis, created a dramatic version.
Update at 3:15 p.m. ET. Another Interesting Version:
Check out this submission from Meghan Bohnert on Facebook. She takes the theme a little further than most others.
Update at 2:45 p.m. ET. A Moog Connection. Robert Moog's son Matt (who we just had a Twitter conversation with) posted this in our comments thread:
"Funny story. When I was in 8th grade, my dad (Bob Moog) came to speak to my class about electronic music and I remember him playing the NPR theme song as an example. The world comes full circle....."
When we checked with him, Matt confirmed it was the All Things Considered theme that his father played that day.
Update at 2 p.m. ET: In the comments thread and on the Facebook page folks are sending in some attempts. Click here for one we like from Timo Chen on Facebook.