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Synergy

Beginning with the 1975 landmark Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra, Synergy explored the possibilities inherent in synthesizer/sequencer technology and digital-studio production techniques, resulting in some of the most inventive electronic music of the '70s. It was mostly the work of synthesizer expert Larry Fast, who also brought electronics to the mainstream by coordinating synthesized passages for dozens of pop acts during the '70s and '80s, including Yes, Peter Gabriel, Meatloaf, John Denver, Barbra Streisand, Hall & Oates, Kate Bush, Foreigner, and Randy Newman.

Fast grew up in West Essex, NJ and trained as a pianist and violinist before entering Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. After taking a few computer science courses, he became interested in synthesized music and began building his own primitive devices. He was introduced to Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman during an interview for a local radio station, and soon interested the musician in his home-made instruments and customized versions of existing synthesizers. While in England to assist Yes in the recording of 1974's Tales from Topographic Oceans, Fast gained a record contract as well, with Passport Records.

Recording as Synergy, Fast debuted in 1975 with Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra. The album became a surprise favorite with progressive radio, and was hailed by synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog as the most important recording to date using his Moog synthesizer. Soon after the album's release, Fast was introduced to Peter Gabriel, who had recently left Genesis and was about to begin his solo career; Gabriel recruited Larry Fast to take care of synthesized effects for his first three LPs (all were self-titled). Gabriel's success with the singles "Shock the Monkey," "Biko," and "Games Without Frontiers" gave Fast a growing reputation as the man to hire for that contemporary sound, even while he recorded three new Synergy LPs during the late '70s, Fast worked with a variety of artists and appeared on tour with Gabriel. He also provided the score for the original planetarium light show known as Laserium, and moved into film work (About Last Night, Planes, Trains and Automobiles) during the '80s. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Love his (Synergy's) music, but Bob Moog really said this album was the most important to date (1975) using his synth? What about Switched-On Bach? He must've been bonked on the head right before he said that!
Nektar! Larry joined Nektar for "Recycled"on e of their best! Please update his accomplishme n t s !
tod.pidgeon
I remember interviewing Larry Fast at a college station I worked at in 1978. It turned me then and I still love the Synergy albums.
Nerdkween is not an album by Synergy; rather Synergy is the title of the debut album from a group named Nerdkween. Please update accordingly.
Been a Larry Fast/Synergy fan since the '70s, and have most of the vinyl. Yes has been my favorite band since getting turned on to them in '73, and Topographic Oceans was my first Yes concert and one of my favorite albums. But all these years, I never knew the Larry Fast/Rick Wakeman/Topo g r a p h i c Oceans connection. Wow!
In the upper left corner of my Synergy radio station, I see a graphic image of an album (CD) cover with the title: Synergy, 23 Electrifying Hits. This is NOT Larry Fast's Synergy (the very reason I created the station). In fact, it's blatant plagiarism of Larry Fast's most excellent Synergy canon. There isn't even ONE track by Larry on this CD (which is available, for instance, at Amazon). Please use another CD/album cover that actually is a Synergy album! - Chuck Mauro
Pandora should get Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra! It's really a great album. Larry Fast is a genius!

I'd like to thank Pandora for having as many Synergy albums as they do. You guys rock!
dano163
I own all of Larry's albums on original (and pristine) vinyl. I bought the limited-rele a s e Computer Experiments Vol. 1 (I think mine is #681) by mail order from Larry, and ended up with his autograph on my cancelled check. That album was pressed in clear vinyl and looks pretty interesting. I also have all the albums on CD, with the sleeves signed by Larry. So yeah, I'm a fan, and have been since 1977.
BTW, that Nerdkween album listed above is a mistake; that's a completely different artist.
Metropolitan Suite was his last Synergy album, and then Larry was off to assist other artists in their ventures. M/S is a work of a true mature electronic professional , and one that everyone who did this sort of thing looked up to. Too bad the Audion label was short-lived, and the loss of Larry's primary label met the end of truly creative electronic work by a colony of great artists. The latter then scattered, and were were left with Yanni and other PBS type electronics as primary medium.
cowniew
Interesting music and bio. I remember Tomita(Snowf l a k e s are Dancing) and Walter Carlos(Switc h e d on Bach) but never got into let's say his Sister Wendy. Synergy and Larry Fast sound like something worth getting more into.
I don't think that the Nerdkween album listed above has anything to do with Larry Fast. I wonder how it got linked here
I have the album up in the corner, but for some reason, it's not in the discography for me to like it.
Larry Fast was way ahead of his time, learned about his music while working at a record store, hooked ever since.
anunnymouse
Great stuff. Hasn't dated itself yet. I found electronic realizations in the library as a teenager back in the mid 70s. That album introduced me to, and got me hooked on, electronic music. 35 years later I'm still into it, and still playing with synths (3 hard synths and Reason soft synth in my recording studio). And I'm still listening to Larry Fast and Peter Gabriel.
I still have this on vile
Great music, we love it. Godspeed!
chateu was used in 1977 Laserium, that's where I first heard them.
Love this 70s synth music. Larry Fast/Synergy was one of the first that I got into, along with Vangelis, Wendy Carlos, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, and--as purplewolfho u n d 8 mentioned--T o m i t a .

Synergy's best album, imho, was Metropolitan Suite, released in 1986 on the legendary Audion label. (I've managed to track down virtually every Audion release on cd. . . .)
does dj richard and synthetic pleasure radio show from early 80s on wfmu 91.1fm ring a bell? seen larry fast with peter gabriel on his early solo tours.
14739578
If you people love Synergy you are going to love Tomita just punch it in Pandora Trust me......
Synergy/Audi o n was my introduction to 'electronic music'. A random fortuitous purchase from the local record store's clearance 'cut outs' bin. Synergy has remained one of my favorite electronics sounds many years later. Along the way I discovered and enjoyed many other of the other classic electronics sounds, like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Wendy Carlos, etc but Synergy has always had a somewhat distinctive sound & compositiona l style that I really love. I wish Larry Fast would release some
I grew up listening to Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra, since I was like 3 years old. My dad had a copy of it on a reel to reel tape. I didn't even know who or what album, all I knew was I liked it. I listened to it until I wore the tape out, and not knowing where to get the album, I re-mastered the decaying tape onto a CD, with all the drop outs throughout the recording, but at age 29, I am looking forward to buying the real CD now that I finally figured out what it was.
first time i heard and i feel lke flyng high, bakck in Cosmos and Carl Sagan

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