'Remembering David Van Koevering - EMusician

Remembering David Van Koevering

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David Van Koevering (right) standing
 with Bill Hemsath, who conceived of
 the Minimoog and built the first prototype
 from spare parts.

David Van Koevering (right) standing  with Bill Hemsath, who conceived of  the Minimoog and built the first prototype  from spare parts.

The world lost an important figure in the history of electronic music on January 30th. After a long illness, David Van Koevering passed away at the age of 77 near his home in Cleveland, Tennessee. Without his efforts, Moog synthesizers might have never become the success we recognize today, simply because he almost singlehandedly introduced them to working musicians all over the United States.

When the Minimoog appeared in late 1970, Bob Moog was convinced his company wouldn’t sell more than a hundred. A showman at heart, Van Koevering became the Minimoog’s most enthusiastic supporter, opening a nightclub called the Island of Electronicus in Tierra Verde, Florida, where he gave nightly performances and demonstrations. He traveled throughout the country, convincing music store owners to stock the instrument by briefly lending local players a Minimoog and then arranging its sale through the store. Within two years, he had established dozens of Moog dealerships and a network of international distributors. After becoming Moog Music’s vice president, he was responsible for launching the Satellite and other instruments.

Van Koevering was an inventor in his own right, too, developing the Vako Orchestron, an optical disc-based sample player most notably played by Patrick Moraz and Kraftwerk. He also designed and sold the Van Koevering Interactive Piano workstation, with Bob Moog as co-designer.

Moog Is Now: The Moog Legacy through the Lens of David Van Koevering was the title of the Bob Moog Foundation’s 2016 calendar, highlighting Van Koevering’s collection of photos, promo materials, and interviews making up his personal archives.