Next Show: BBC NOW Classical Playlist LIVE

We are very excited to announce our next show! We’ll be performing with BBC National Orchestra of Wales on Sunday 5 April at DEPOT in Cardiff.

Team WGME will be moving out of the usual synth semicircle for a concert where audience members will have the chance to get up-close with our synths and the incredible musicians of BBC NOW by walking around the venue for a synth and orchestral experience like no other. Head over to Will to hear his Minimoog Model D in action, venture towards Ross to check out his Roland Promars Compuphionic MRS-2 which he had specially modified, or be right beside Simon on his Akai EWI5000 – catch the action like never before!

Also performing will be acclaimed classical Australian saxophone star, Amy Dickson and heartthrob Welsh tenor Tristan Llyr Griffiths.

Featuring Prokofiev ‘Dance of the Knights’ (The Apprentice theme tune) and Beethoven ‘Scherzo from Symphony No 9’ (A Clockwork Orange) plus lots more.

For more information and to book tickets click here.

Oceans of Heaven by Eddie Parker

“Synths are brilliant for these kinds of extremes. In this piece I’m using the instrument’s ability to make notes appear from, and disappear into, silence……”

….Composer & fellow Mooger Eddie Parker wrote a beautiful piece for the WGME called ‘Oceans of Heaven’ 

Listen to ‘Oceans of Heaven’ on our YouTube channel and read more about the piece in the description below by Eddie.

“At one point I was thinking about musical images on a superhuman scale – like how continuously falling scales could depict a waterfall (there is an aural effect called the “Shepherd Scale”, the ascending version of which was used at the end of Pink Floyd’s Meddle, which is a demonstration of this); or how mountains might be depicted by infinitely sustained notes (we nearly had a project in a mine in North Wales one time which I was beginning to think about); and in “Oceans”, great mid-ocean waves.

At the top of each wave the harmony changes, and during the course of the piece there is a tonal journey leading gradually through vast conflicting currents and gyres, to the eventual calming warmth of pan-diatonic rest.”

Moog Model 15

The Model 15 was the smallest of the Moog modular synths, originally intended for schools and music colleges to demonstrate the basics of analogue synthesis and voltage control. (The largest being the Moog 35 modular, as used by Keith Emerson among others). With modular synths, the instrument consists of discrete modules – oscillators, filters, amplifiers etc – which the user patches together using cables. However, the set of modules that you got was decided by the manufacturer, unlike today’s Eurorack where users buy individual modules and slot them in as they wish. There are now several companies making ‘clones’ of the original Moog modules using modern components, which makes them a bit more affordable. Vyv uses a Model 15 clone by Club of the Knobs, with a couple of non-standard modules, namely an extra VCF (filter) and an extra VCO (oscillator) in place of the standard Moog static filter bank which would normally sit top left of the cabinet.

Moog Sub 37

As it says on the Moog website, “The SUB 37 Tribute Edition is a limited release, 2-note paraphonic analog synthesizer built on the award winning Sub Phatty sound engine, but specifically enhanced to meet the demands of professional synthesists, sound designers, and keyboard players.” It sounds subtly different from the Minimoog, but has a number of performance advantages, notably presets! Dan uses one for the bass sound with the Moog Ensemble, put through a Vortexion valve amd and Ampeg cab, and sometimes doubled with Taurus bass pedals for added earth-shudderingness.

Minimoog Model D

The mainstay of the Moog Ensemble since it formed in 2005. They offer the classic creamy Moog sound in a reasonably portable and reliable package, so there have always been three or four of these in the band. These instruments are quite old now, so it has been necessary to bring a backup or two when playing live, as they don’t respond well to unstable mains voltages or fluctuating temperatures. With the re-release of the Model D in 2016, many of us are using the slightly more resilient new version for touring while preserving the originals for studio work.

Will Gregory Moog Ensemble at BBC Proms

Did you catch our Moog landing at the BBC Proms last month? 

Members of the group joined the BBC Concert Orchestra for a sold-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the Apollo 11 mission to the moon among other historic events of summer 1969.

You can still listen to the whole concert on BBC Radio 3 here: 

1’20 JS Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 Mvt.I
1’40 Will Gregory, Journey to Sky from Picard in Space

Oh, and if you’ve ever had any confusion over the pronunciation of Moog, it’s ‘Moog as in Vogue’ – thanks Lemn Sissay for clarifying!

One from the rehearsal at Alexandra Palace

Philharmonie de Paris: Days Off Festival

Reflections on the magnificent Paris de Philharmonie!

The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble has just returned from a packed out concert at the Philharmonie de Paris as part of Days Off Festival.  The team performed a concert of varied repertoire from composers such as Bach and Handel, to John Carpenter and original compositions by Will and Graham.  The concert provided a warm-up to Kraftwerk 3D, preparing listeners for a synth-filled evening.

Will welcomed the crowd and introduced every piece in French and after the concert we had members of the audience taking photos and asking questions about each synthesizer.

Thank you to the team at the Paris Philharmonie!

Members of the Moog Ensemble enjoyed the evening performance of Kraftwerk too 🙂