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Discovery: Garaj Mahal and Fareed Haque Present The Moog Guitar

United States
When top musicians play innovative instruments, magic happens

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (9 March, 2010) – Take the guitar considered by many to be the most innovative instrument of the decade; put it in the hands of a musical visionary and you’re sure to embark on a voyage of discovery. Moog Music did just that and the soundtrack to this musical journey has been captured on a new CD titled DISCOVERY, Garaj Mahal and Fareed Haque Present The Moog Guitar.

DISCOVERY was inspired by Garaj Mahal’s exploration of the Moog Guitar’s sonic palette and the limitless ways that it can be incorporated into traditional and modern playing and production styles. The result is a vibrant, eclectic yet coherent body of work from players at the top of their game. The songs span a range of styles from clubby euro/electro and jazz/rock to traditional jazz and classical. Whether overdubbing seven Moog Guitar parts to recreate a Vivaldi lute concerto or sampling, processing and remixing The Moog Guitar with Ableton Live (by Garaj Mahal keyboardist and Moog synth wiz, Eric Levy), Fareed and company never sacrifice musical expression for technical showmanship.

In addition to his work with Garaj Mahal, jazz, classical and world music virtuoso Fareed Haque has played with a stellar list of top artists including Sting, Joe Zawinul and Medeski, Martin and Wood. Throughout his career he has balanced a love of guitar tradition with a spirit of sonic exploration, making The Moog Guitar the perfect musical vehicle for him.

Introduced at the Summer NAMM tradeshow in 2008, the Moog Guitar has received numerous industry honors including Guitar Player Magazine’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Award, Electronic Musician Magazine’s 2009 Editor’s Choice Award, 2008 Summer NAMM “Best In Show” honors, a 2008 “Best of What’s New Award” from Popular Science magazine and a 2009 Mix Foundation TEC Award. The instrument’s unique ability to control string vibration opens the door to another musical dimension without sacrificing traditional guitar tone and playing techniques.

Along with Lou Reed and Vernon Reid, Haque was one of a handful of top musicians given access to The Moog Guitar prior to its launch. During a Garaj Mahal tour, a brief stop at the Moog factory in Asheville, NC led to his first encounter with a Moog Guitar prototype. After a short session in the Moog sound room, the band continued their tour and Fareed’s mind filled with musical possibilities.

By the time they reached Atlanta, plans were already underway to immediately secure a Moog Guitar for recording. When Moog could not ship their only prototype to Atlanta, the band did a 4 hour U-turn back to Asheville. Borrowed the Moog guitar prototype that evening and then drove all night and all day to their next gig in Florida. The song Moog Improv #1 from that session appears on the DISCOVERY CD.

The CD’s extensive liner notes paint a fascinating picture of the many ways that The Moog Guitar’s innovations were used to advantage in the creation of this work. In addition to Fareed’s offbeat performance notes, Moog synth wiz Eric Levy describes how he created many of the electronica influenced tracks by manipulating Moog Guitar recording clips in Ableton Live.

“I have long been a fan of Fareed, Eric and Garaj Mahal – both for their incredible musicianship and who they are as people.” said Cyril Lance, Moog Chief Technical Alchemist and resident blues guitarist. “As the Moog Guitar came to market, I knew Fareed would know what to do with this axe as he was instrumental in its development. I’m extremely proud of this CD by Garaj Mahal. It represents the best of collaboration and the unique link between us as inventors and the musicians who use our instruments. Fareed takes us on a seemingly effortless but breathtaking tour of the sonic landscape of the guitar supported by his colleagues. His ability to explore so many genres and bring new voices to each is extremely gratifying and inspiring.”

DISCOVERY is available on iTunes and other online music sources and on the Moog website.

About Moog Music: Moog Music and its customers carry on the legacy of Bob Moog, the inventor of the synthesizer. Moog designs and manufactures electronic musical instruments, including Little Phatty® and Minimoog® Voyager® synthesizers, Moogerfooger® effects modules, Etherwave® theremins, Taurus Bass Pedals and The Moog Guitar. Founded by Bob Moog, Moog Music designs and manufactures its products in Asheville, N.C.

Photograph: (L-R) Fareed Haque, Eric Levy, Kai Eckhardt, Sean Rickman
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