Moog Endorsement!

The Moog Sub Phatty, now safely at home.

I'm very excited to share that I've been endorsed by one of the great musical instrument innovators: Moog Synthesizers.  Moog has been opening ears since its debut in the early 50's and have forever altered the soundscape of Planet Earth for the better.  

Heres how it happened:

The Music of Adolescence

In youth, music has the power to shape life, making impressions on the soul deep as grooves on an old 78.  The albums we hear, turned on by our friends, the composers and bands overheard or forced upon us, all have a mesmeric force that shapes and sculpts our worlds. The music we hear at that big bang of a moment creates our beliefs and reaches to the very core of who we believe ourselves to be, and who we'll choose to become.  We become what we hear.

What daddy spun on the record player during my adolescence touched me deeply.  In the dining room of our house in Brooklyn was a converted closet without a door.  Shelves had been assembled.  Daddy called the audio boys to install a stereo system to make all other stereos feel bad about themselves. I exploited it to the max, the electronics becoming slaves to my bidding, servants of my deepest desire.

When no one was home save the housekeeper and me, I'd play my Bowie records at full tilt.  The back of Ziggy Stardust says 'to be played at maximum volume,'  so I followed the instructions and extended their imperative to everything I could lay hands on, loud.  (Don't try this at home-my ears still ring). And my collection wasn't my only joy.

Daddy too had his wax and those were records that shaped who I am today.  It started with Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations and spread to a boxed set of Gould complete.  Arrau's Chopin Preludes I abused tirelessly over the years. The Albinoni Adagio performed by I don't know who. I fell in love Casals' Bach and Yo-Yo made his first entrance- the Bach sonatas with harpsichord and Beethoven with Manny Ax. My list could go on-these are just the discs that stick most to the ribs of memory.  Daddy kept my ears happy and warm, and they were never lonely.

Acoustic music was one part of the bargain, electronic another. Stevie's Songs in the Key of Life and Glass' Glassworks shaped me. As did Switched on Bach, synth versions of the master's masterworks that had won 3 Grammy's and scored on the pop charts! a big gun in daddy's arsenal.  These versions were painstakingly recorded on a monophonic modular Moog synthesizer, one voice at a time, and they hypnotized me.

When it came time for me to make music of my own, the Moog came back to haunt the halls of my inner ear.  Where Casals had forever informed my interpretation of the Bach Cello Suites, Switched on Bach formed a ravine in my heart, in which a river now flowed, waiting to find passage back to the Sea of Sound.

Recording the songs on Play Human- my new LP of original rock songs- last year, I found the SampleMoog softSynth had an orbital pull on me.  I returned to it over and over, blending its racket with the hum and gore of my ES-335 electric guitar.

Then, walking in Brooklyn one day, I stopped a man with a Moog T-shirt and Moog pass round his neck, headed to Rough Trade to raze a Moog exhibit.  Fuck shit piss dick!! I had missed it!!!  I suggested we might do something together one day and presumptuously asked him for his card.  I planted it in a diary in my desk, hoping it'd bear fruit, "someday."

Six months later and I've taken a gig I don't like but it pays well. I've already committed when I get a call to come in and play some cello lines on a new film score by Bryan Senti. Well fuck me again! I can't do it! I'm busy playing this other thing and missing out on what I'd really love to be doing. I had recently tracked cello for Senti's Experimenter, with Peter Saarsgard, and would have been stoked to play another beauty.  

Then, in my absence, something goes wrong during this new recording and he needs me to come in and redo the cello parts, one-on-one with with the maestro.  Everything was working out. Some angel dust, I mean some fairy dust, was working its magic.

A few days in and we're hanging in his studio, so I get the privilege of sharing some of my own compositions and productions with Bryan and he gives surprising attention.  Sitting in his well-appointed room, I get to admiring and drooling over a beautiful Moog keyboard to my right.  Next thing I know, he suggests connecting me with Moog to get me endorsed.  And things progress from there.  Jason Daniello at the company apparently thinks my work is aok cause he's sending me a contract.  And then, next thing I know, I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of a Moog SubPhatty- a recent electronic marvel so lovely I could mount- in the mail. 
The day after signing the contract with Moog, I had some computer problems in my studio.  Restarts led to rewirings and soon i was digging in the bowels of desk for a missing cable.  I stumbled upon my diary, hidden behind my interface. As I took a quick accounting of its empty space, a business card dropped to the floor.  Picking it up, I quickly noticed the black and white image of a moog keyboard with a name emblazoned on the back: Jason Daniello.  A Sub Phatty decorated its front.

So things came full circle.  Magic played a pivotal role. The love of my youth was becoming a spouse.  And I would finally be making music of my own on the instrument that had so beguiled me as a teen, the first to insinuate there might be a bridge to cross from Classical to Popular.  A world outside the tuxedoed chamber of cello playing that I could reach into with my own hands, away from the fingerboard.
Stay tuned for new sounds from the Phatty I'm working with right now- coming soon to a stereo near you.  And keep the magic flowing- in your own work and life. Life is nothing without a lil sprinkling of angel dust.....

Has angel dust been around your life of late? Please share in the comments!!


noun boon·dog·gle \ˈbün-ˌdä-gəl, -ˌdȯ-
1) an expensive and wasteful project usually paid for with public money

2) a piece for solo piano by Noah Hoffeld

Hey Guys! Here's a piece I wrote for solo piano, brought to life here by the miraculous David Shenton. I think its good snowy day music. Mixed and mastered by the great producer Jacob Lawson. Thanks for listening and stay cozy

An Original Composition for Solo Piano performed by David Shenton Join and stay updated at Written by Noah Hoffeld (ASCAP) ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Black History Month (not long enough)

A small miracle has occurred!  This post of mine got over 100 shares in one week, from folks I didn't know, just responding to how they felt about my song and video, 'One Family.'  I am deeply humbled by this expression of love and support from listeners.  And the count continues to grow.  much love. we are truly 'one family.'

One Family New Song and Vid

Happy Black History Month, Friends!

I created this song this weekend in honor of our beloved Dr. King.  And there’s a video made from archival footage to go along with it.  

Its been a tough year for civil rights but I believe a good one as well.  All the tragedy has gone to open our eyes to the state of affairs and the need for enormous change.  And in seeing that need, the change has already begun.

Abuses of power and failures of the judicial system are really extensions of our own deepest beliefs, in my mind.  unfortunately none of us is free of prejudice and fear.  Lets use this opportunity to search for love deep within us, knowing in the words of Dr King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech that, 

“One day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Paris Je T'aime


As i'm praying for the victims of the Charlie attacks, I'm also taking time to pray for the attackers.  Although I'm horrified by their actions, in this strange world of quarks, there really is no us, no them.  Every time I feel righteous indignation (often), I'm sure I experience the vibration of what they felt seeing the cartoons.  And that energy in me is part and parcel of that energy in them, just one body over to the left or to the right.  If we really want to see an end to our global epidemic of violence, we can look to heal our own rage anger indignation, anything and everything that keeps us separate from one another, and from love.


The Skeleton Twins

So stoked that The Skeleton Twins has received an extended theatrical release here in the States and is now opening in theaters globally as well.  And recently Bill Hader was nominated for Best Actor Gotham Award for his performance.  I played cello solos on the beautiful soundtrack by Nathan Larson.  Its especially exciting because I love both of these actors and I think the film carries a very important message.  See it!

The Late Starters Orchestra

Congratulations to my student Ari Goldman on the publication of his new book The Late Starters Orchestra by Algonquin Press. The book includes anecdotes about my teaching and involvement in his life as a cellist. I also served as technical consultant for all things cello during the writing of the memoir. In LSO, the author discovers a group of supportive and funny adult beginners meeting in New York (and worldwide) to rehearse and perform orchestral music. Publisher's Weekly has called it one of the best ten music books of its season. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in taking up an instrument as an adult or as a gift to anyone you know who loves music and a good tale. Available at bookstores and on Amazon. 

Ari is a contributor to the New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications, is professor of journalism at Columbia and the author of several bestsellers including The Search for God at Harvard.

Most background photos copyright 2015 Gretchen Robinette except'Sights' page-Noah performs his 'Into Center' for cello and choir in Nene Humphrey's 'Circling the Center'. 'Shows' page photo by Noah Hoffeld.  'Play Human, Other Sounds, About, and Shop' Photos by JB Michael. All Gallery Photos by Gretchen Robinette

All Sounds © Noah Hoffeld (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved