Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board serve as our advisers and navigators, helping EMEAPP in its development. Many of these individuals also participate regularly in EMEAPP’s activities and projects.

Brian Kehew

Brian Kehew is a Los Angeles-based musician and record producer. He is a co-author of the Recording The Beatles book, an in-depth look at the Beatles’ studio approach. He also operates as a technician/road crew/designer for many musical acts, including The Who, Prince, Sparks, Bat For Lashes, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and more. His synth programming has appeared in works by The Who, Heart, Edgar Winter, Maroon 5, Weezer, Motley Crue, Keith Emerson and ELP.

Kehew’s production studio has welcomed quite a few projects, including mixing work for Alice Cooper, The Pretenders, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Stooges, Black Sabbath and Little Feat. He has also had great success in the production of live historical events at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. Brian also played a role in the creation of the Abbey Road reverb chambers plug-in for Waves, an amazing digital recreation of their acclaimed live reverb chambers.

Sandra James 

Sandra James is currently the Systems Support Specialist for the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Sandra has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Temple University, a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and is currently finishing her Thesis for a Master’s in Sonic Arts degree from the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. She studied Latin Percussion at AMLA (Artístas y Músicos Latino Americanos) and in Latin America. Sandra is interested in using the computer to extend traditional mediums for installations, video and performance.

Sandra has presented papers at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and the joint College Music Society/ATMI annual meeting. She designed animated scenery for Boyer’s production of Gluck’s opera, Orfeo ed Euridice, and created personas for three robots in Maurice Wright’s opera GALATEA_RESET, and built three sculptures with embedded Raspberry Pi’s to run Wright’s audio programs for the installation of Shh!.

Tom Rhea

In the difficult age of pre-internet research, Tom Rhea worked for several years to develop his doctoral thesis: The Evolution of Electronic Musical Instruments in the United States, inspired by Benjamin Franklin Miessner’s earlier work in documenting the development of EMI’s. For this project, he traveled the world, doing first-hand research that delved into areas of music history rarely explored. In doing so, he creating an unparalleled document of the birth of Electronic Music. After his thesis, he became interested in promoting synthesizer use and sales in the new industry of Electronic Music. His dissertation has been cited in The New Harvard Dictionary of Music and The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments in articles written by Hugh Seymour Davies.

Joining forces with Moog Music, Inc., he wrote the Owner’s Manuals for many of their iconic instruments, and created a curriculum for learning the synthesizer “Meet Moog and Make Music” – documents used by thousands to understand the complex world of synthesis. Rhea also worked marketing the Moog line, guiding the direction of many of their key promotions and sales demonstrations throughout the world. Contemporary Keyboard magazine employed Rhea to develop a set of monthly columns, called “Electronic Perspectives,” that brought the masses awareness of these significant-but-obscure, pre-synthesizer instruments. Oxylights, the world’s largest MIDI music and light show, was one of Tom’s many projects in this era.

In later years, Bob Moog recruited Tom as part of his trio (with Jim Scott) to design the Crumar Spirit, still considered one of the world’s greatest monosynth designs. Since his days in the musical instrument industry, Tom Rhea has been a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA; teaching thousands of students from his years of unique experience and perspective. Tom retired from Berklee in 2017 after a 30 year teaching career.

Tom Rhea was co-founder (along with Dave VanKoevering and Les Trubey) of the Electronic Arts Foundation, the first entity focused on preserving the historical legacy of electronic musical instruments.

Wouter “Wally” DeBacker 

Better known as Gotye (pronounced /ˈɡoʊti.eɪ/ GO-tee-ay), Wally DeBacker is a Grammy-award winning Belgian-Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter whose single “Somebody That I Used to Know” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  He has said he sometimes feels “less of a musician, more of a tinkerer” and his love for vintage electronic instruments knows no bounds.

In 2015–2016, he became friends with electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey, and worked with Perrey to preserve his recorded legacy.  After purchasing two vintage Ondiolines (an electronic keyboard closely associated with Perrey), De Backer formed the Ondioline Orchestra in New York. The sextet made their debut performing two shows in tribute to Perrey at National Sawdust, in Brooklyn, on November 22, 2016.  Perrey, who lived in Switzerland, had planned to attend the tribute, but died at the age of 87 on November 4.  In 2017, De Backer launched a new record label, Forgotten Futures, whose first release was entitled Jean-Jacques Perrey et son Ondioline, a compilation of rare and previously unreleased Perrey recordings.


In Memoriam

David Van Koevering (1940-2018)

Born into an energetic and musical family of evangelical troubadours, “Little David” soon grew into the David VanKoevering who would affect many thousands of lives in and beyond the ministry. His charm and musical talents brought him a wonderful wife, Becky, who shared his passions and raised their family while they covered the nation in ideas and spirit. Their traveling show demonstrated the long history of musical instruments, culminating always in the more modern designs – originally a Theremin. Soon after, he found the maker of that theremin – Robert Moog – was also making a new style of musical instrument, the modern-day synthesizer.

Excited by the vast promise of the synthesizer, David became THE proponent of the instrument, showing and selling instruments to thousands of musicians in North America and Europe. He established a base in Florida, giving thousands of people their first-ever experience with a music synthesizer. His undefeatable spirit brought him into the Moog company itself. He created a simpler, more accessible synthesizer, the Satellite, designed for the non-technical working player. He spearheaded Moog’s sales techniques in the brand-new concept of “a commercial synthesizer” – an idea previously thought impossible. David’s methods proved otherwise and became the standard direction for the industry. Working soon after with EML in Connecticut, he also brought their affordable designs to the stores and working musicians throughout that territory. Not long after, he started his own company, VAKO – who created a unique hybrid of instruments, the Orchestron. Used internationally, the Orchestron appeared on several major albums and was accepted as the new “cutting edge” in sample-playback technology – a process that eventually found its way to NASA for space exploration missions.

Moog Music brought VanKoevering back to direct their marketing efforts again when the company finally had a stronger national presence. David worked with local church groups to find a unique marketing outlet for a custom-named set of Moog instruments, the Sanctuary and Joyful Noise designs; re-branded versions of Moog instruments designed and programmed to appeal to the traditional ministry markets. Roland utilized David’s knowledge of the working musicians’ needs when they developed his namesake line (the VK keyboard series) of professional synthesizers, organ and string units.

In the 1990s, David was among the first to realize the power of digital “workstation” systems for education and music in the home and schools. He designed and marketed the incredible VanKoevering piano line, which was the first to combine a visual touch-screen interface and a traditional piano action. These instruments were used in the home and schools to teach and promote the pure enjoyment of playing, in an instrument that was both familiar and cutting-edge technology.

Throughout their lives, the perseverance and unique ideas of David VanKoevering and his family have unquestionably affected and changed the modern world of musical electronics.

Although David is no longer with us, he played an important role in EMEAPP’s creation both as an adviser and an inspiration, and is, and will always be, with us in spirit.