Sunday, October 9, 2022

Albert Glinsky's "Switched On"

Albert Glinsky is an American composer and author. His music has been performed internationally and he holds honors and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He was educated at The Juilliard School and New York University. His music ranges from acoustic to electronic works. His book, Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage, with a foreword by Bob Moog, is the standard work on Leon Theremin, and won the 2001 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Glinsky is a frequent lecturer and appears regularly on television, radio, and podcasts.

He applied the Page 99 Test to his new book, Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution, and reported the following:
There’s a cosmic connection between The Page 99 Test and Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution. Page 99 of Switched On is blank except for the words, PART III: COSMIC SOUNDS. This is eerily apt, because the third section of Switched On is the axis of Bob’s life. Up until then, his revolutionary invention was a best-kept secret, known mostly to academics in ivory towers. The breakout moment was the discovery of its “cosmic sounds” by West Coast pop musicians: within weeks the Moog synth was inducted into psychedelic-head-astrology culture, and featured on one hit LP after another. From there it caught fire with everyone from The Beatles and The Byrds, to the The Doors and Stevie Wonder. The Moog synthesizer, as Rolling Stone put it, “bent the course of music forever.”

But Switched On takes on more than just popular culture. It’s also a poignant story about entrepreneurship in America, about how hard it is to float a business—especially one that was breaking ground in new and untested territory. Selling a product everyone immediately wanted would seem like the formula for a win. But success can be as much a curse as an opportunity. Switched On traces Bob’s struggles, from his start as a shy guy from Queens, New York who never left home without his trusty pocket protectors, to his sudden role pioneering a new industry, to his place in history as the unlikely cult “patron saint of electrogeeks.” His contribution to music in the 20th century—and music we’re still creating today—represents some of the best that American ingenuity and perseverance has to offer.
Visit Albert Glinsky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue