A pictorial sampling of the great opportunities I have had to work with some of my synth heroes
by David Mash
I started experimenting with synthesizers in 1971, studied Electronic Music at Berklee with Michael Rendish beginning in 1973, and began performing live as a synthesist regularly in 1977. This may not qualify me as a “pioneer,” but perhaps as an “early adopter.” However, I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of the legendary synthesizer pioneers during my career as a music technology consultant as well as through my work at Berklee College of Music.
In 1989 when I left the Music Synthesis Department I had founded at Berklee to become Berklee’s Assistant Dean of Curriculum for Academic Technology (BADCAT), I hosted a panel discussion at the Berklee Performance Center with synthesizer legends Bob Moog, Alan R. Perlman (ARP), Ray Kurzweil, and keyboard artist Tom Coster.
Shown left to right: Alan R. Perlman, Ray Kurzweil,
David Mash, Tom Coster, and Bob Moog.
Bob Moog with original Minimoog, Alan Perlman with ARP2600, and Ray Kurzweil with the K250 at that panel discussion.
Here I am with Bob Moog. We became friends in the early 1980s when he was working at Kurzweil as VP for engineering and I was consulting on sound and user interface design. Bob invited me to write an after-market users guide to the Kurzweil 250, which Kurzweil later published. We also worked together on the design of the Kurzweil 150, the MIDIboard and a host of software revisions for the Kurzweil 250. In 2002 Berklee honored Bob with the Honorary Doctorate of Music for his contributions to the music world. Bob passed away on August 21, 2005 from a brain tumor. I was honored to be asked to speak at his memorial, and I now adives the board of the Bob Moog Memorial Foundation for Electronic Music. Bob deeply touched the lives of all who knew him, and made a major contribution to the world of music. I am honored to have known Bob.
This is a shot of me with Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder and chairman of Roland. I first met Mr. K in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1988. We had a long and close friendship since then, and many of our conversations have resulted in very popular electronic music products. Mr. Kakehashi was also a recipient of Berklee’s honorary doctorate degree. He passed in 2017, and will be missed by many.
Here are some Ictus photos from 1978 showing my live synthesizer rig consisting of an ARP 2600 with 1602 sequencer, Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synthesizer and a variety of analog signal processors: