When we met him after the event, he was a very kind and humble guy inspired by a musician to invent his instruments. He said he was listening to a performer use electronics in their music which gave him a spark of innovation to begin designing synthesizers. He also said he believed the future of music will not be in making new kinds of sounds but will be found in new ways of controlling them. He also talked about Switched on Bach and all the albums that were sold. This was a wonderful thing for him to see since it meant he could make a living doing what he loved, building synthesizers. He said that someone asked him once, "How do you know this electronic stuff is real music?" and he jokingly replied, "Well, real music makes real money." He said he was still building analog synthesizers and theremins and they were still being sold. Just 4 months later, he passed away on August 21st, 2005 from a brain tumor at the age of 71.
Here he is demonstrating the minimoog:
Google also commemorates this day by creating a virtual synthesizer, the "Goog" on their front page which you can actually play using your mouse and keyboard. You can record up to 4 tracks on the virtual tape recorder while tweaking the nobs and then save your song with the provided link. Marc Doty created this tutorial on how to use it:
Also, click here to see what Moog Music demonstrated at NAMM 2012.
* If you missed it. you can still play on the GOOG here: http://www.google.com/doodles/robert-moogs-78th-birthday