In case you missed it on the home page, the latest SYNERGY CD is "Reconstructed Artifacts". All new recordings, but familiar Synergy material. Click here to get the whole story.
The Nov/Dec 2003 issue of Tape Op magazine issue #38 has an extensive interview by Roman Sokal about all things Synergy starting on page 28. It's definitely worth checking out.
Progression Magazine issue #44 Winter 2003/Spring 2004 has a cover story about Tony Levin with a nice sidebar story about Synergy. Also well worth reading.
HIATUS 2004: The guys are pretty busy with other projects during 2004 so for the moment there are no recording dates or live shows planned. We'll post any information here for later in the year. Check Tony's website at www.tonylevin.com for news about Tony's work this year with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel. Jesse is on the road with Todd Rundgren; information at www.jessegress.com. And you might as well check out Jerry's news at www.jerrymarotta.com.
NO MORE LIVE DATES PLANNED DURING 2003: Tentative plans are to record the next studio album in the coming months and then do more touring during 2004. We're hoping to finally make it to Europe in 2004 and get back to favorite places and some new ones in North America and Japan.
GRAMMY NOMINATION: The piece "Apollo" from the PIECES OF THE SUN CD has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rock Instrumental category. Find out if we won during the CBS-TV broadcast on February 23, 2003. (update: we didn't win...maybe 2004 if we get nominated again). (update November 2003: Black Dog from the live Double Espresso has been nominated in the first round for Grammy 2004 but didn't make the finals)
We're back with the double live CD Double Espresso recorded during the Spring 2002 tour. For more information about the CD, to hear song samples or the buy the CD click here.
TONY LEVIN BAND - TOUR DATES. Summer 2003
TONY LEVIN BAND - TOUR DATES. March 2003
TONY LEVIN BAND "SNOWTIRES TOUR" Janunary 2003
NEKTAR AT NEARFEST
It happened. Nektar, the original "core four" members (Roye Albrighton, Mo Moore, Taff Freeman and Ron Howden) plus Mick Brockett's light show reunited to headline one of the nights at the annual NEARfest prog-rock festival. The show was on June 29, 2002 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ. Check out the NEARfest site and the Nektar pages ( official and unofficial ) for more information. There are pictures from the rehearsals on this site's Nektar page.
There is talk of additional reunion shows in the not too distant future. We don't know where or when just yet, but as soon as there is any news, we'll post it here. In the meantime, check out the newly remastered Nektar CDs just being released.
LIVE SYNERGY APPEARANCE
The rumors are true. There was a Synergy live set concert on March 16, 2002 at the Alfa Centauri Electronic Music Festival #9 at Theatre 't Spant, Bussum, the Netherlands. (just outside of Amsterdam). We'll post more details if there are more details to report. In the meantime visit www.alfacentauri.nl--that's where the real information about the show and the other performing acts can be found. It was a night of classic Synergy music from the last 25+ years performed live onstage through a great sound system with the Alfa Centauri stage lighting.
Photo by Ed in den Bosch.
The new CD is
out. Pieces Of The Sun available on Narada
Records/EMI. More information is at
page at the Tony Levin site.
The new CD is out. Pieces Of The Sun available on Narada Records/EMI. More information is at this page at the Tony Levin site.
Here's the background:
It only took a decade or so, but the core of the old Peter Gabriel Band (Tony, Jerry Marotta, and me, plus Todd Rundgren guitarist Jesse Gress) has reconstituted itself as the Tony Levin Band . We played on and toured in support of Tony's solo album "The Waters of Eden" (see below). We''ve finished touring across the US and into Eastern Canada from May through November of 2000, and Japan in the Spring of 2001, and several outdoor festival dates during the summer of 2001.
Rehearsing and recording the next album called "Pieces Of The Sun" took place during the Summer and early Fall of 2001. Release is scheduled on Narada/EMI Records for mid February, 2002 with touring across the US and (possibly more) expected soon after that.
We're off the road for a while after touring during March, April and May, 2000. We recorded a live show at the Bearsville Theater (New York) which will be mixed and released as a live CD later this year. We'll post information about the release when we have a date for it. Any additional tour information will be found at www.tonylevinband.com We'll post any new tour dates here as soon as they're announced.
Tony's so much better at keeping a tour diary than I am that I'm sending everybody over to his site to see the tour pictures and read Tony's write-ups about the different shows. I couldn't have done half as good a job at keeping this kind of journal. Go to www.tonylevin.com to see the tour pictures and then come back here.
To make it a little easier to see the band photo albums that Tony keeps, here are some direct links into his site archives:
You can see and hear streaming video
of the Toronto show in October, 2000 by following this
link: TONY LEVIN
RECORDED LIVE IN TORONTO
OCTOBER 28, 2000
The band appeared live playing and with interviews on Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" show.--one of his last on WNEW-FM in New York. (A streaming audio archive was available through Vin Scelsa's site--follow the links to see if it's still up).
People have been asking about my tour
equipment. It's now listed on the productions
and studio page. And yes,
the rumors are true. There is a Synergy piece performed live
in the set. There will probably be some minor equipment
changes when we hit the road again in 2002. We'll post them
as they happen.
XM SATELLITE RADIO
As they say on their site at www.xmradio.com, first there was AM, then there was FM, and now there is XM. You can think of XM as an entirely new radio band of direct broadcast satellite radio blanketing the North American continent with up to 100 separate programming channels--each broadcasting like a distinct radio station with a specific format. You'll need a new radio or adapter for the old one, and these will start appearing in new cars and stores inow.
So what does Synergy have to do with this? I'll be providing the "sounders"--the sonic logos that you'll be hearing on all of the 100 channels as well as the unifying sound logo for the entire XM broadcast service network. It's a very exciting project which will change the way that radio works. It also brings me back to my roots in radio which included college radio at WJRH FM in Easton, Pennsylvania in the late 1960s and early 70s and the now-defunct WSAN AM 1470 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Synergy is considered to be one of the "XM Originals" Creative Partners in developing this new broadcast entity. (I predict that XM will become a power in internet broadcasting, too.)
PETER GABRIEL REMASTERED CDs RELEASED
Peter's back catalog has been reissued with enhanced audio and packaging. I provided a lot of the photos that appear in the new releases since I had a pretty good archive of images that I shot while we were making all of these records. Some of the images are a little small in the CD booklets, so when I get a chance we'll post bigger versions of them on the Peter Gabriel page at this site. For now, you'll have to use a magnifying glass. There's information about these reissues at Peter's site.
NEW SYNERGY MUSIC CREATED FOR DISNEY
The project is called Tokyo DisneySea. It's a $4 billion new theme park at the Disney complex in Tokyo and now it is open. I walked the construction site about 4 months before completion and it's absolutely breathtaking. The theme as you might have guessed is nautical. The park is hard to describe, but it combines the best of Epcot, Jules Verne, and the world's seafaring cultures past and future.
From late 1999 through the summer of 2001 I worked with Walt Disney Imagineering creating all the music that will be heard in one of the DisneySea's enclaves, an area called Port Discovery. A total of 3 hours of new music in various arrangements and mixes was delivered to the team that created the park's environments. There is new Synergy music heard inside and outside of buildings in this part of the park as well as music connected to one of the water ride attractions that will be visible throughout the Port Discovery village. Imagineering had described to me plans to tie together the music with the movements of the rides and kinetic visual details of the park.
Other well-known electronic composers will also be contributing to DisneySea. It is unknown right now whether Disney will release the music on CD, I have been asked to provide a few of the pieces as CD ready mixes so I'm guessing that there might be a compilation CD of sorts of music from the whole park. If we find out about availability at some later date we'll post the information here.
AN INTERESTING NEW CD WITH SYNERGY MUSIC
BACK IN TIME, A SPACE ODYSSEY produced by Chris Abbot (http://www.c64audio.com). This is the third in a series of full orchestra arrangements of video game soundtrack music which was originally performed on the SID synthesizer chips of Commodore C64 computers. "Ancestors" from AUDION was often appropriated for C64 game themes back in the 1980s. Chris Abbot has provided three outstanding full orchestral versions of "Ancestors" on this British CD released in 2001. Visit their website, or email them (email@example.com) for information about purchasing the CD.
DAVID BRYAN "LUNAR ECLIPSE" (RE)-RELEASED
Rounder Records has finally issued in the United States the solo piano and synthesizer album that I co-produced for Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. The CD has two new solo piano tracks and a new name "Lunar Eclipse" in place of the old title "On A Full Moon". Otherwise it's the same great record that got overlooked a few years ago getting the new chance that it deserves. David is a terrific pianist and uses this CD to perform in ways that just don't fit into his role in Bon Jovi. There's one piano track with Synergy synth orchestra arrangement, and a few more electronic pieces which we both worked on. Be openminded.
MACWORLD 2000 NEW YORK
I was asked to give the music and audio keynote talk at the July 2000 MacWorld in New York. There might still be information posted at this site: www.apple.com/creative/musicaudio/showcase/ It went so well that It's possible that I'll be talking more about my computer platform of choice at future conferences. Maybe even a little virtual synth live performances off of a PowerBook. Stay tuned for more info in the coming months.
TONY LEVIN "THE WATERS OF EDEN"
Recording work on Tony Levin's solo album "The Waters of Eden" is complete and released on Narada Records. Though there are nine songs on the CD, I'm only on five doing synth arrangements on Tony's new songs. Many different musicians appear on the album, but the interesting thing for my own personal history is that Tony, Jerry Marotta and I worked together on more than half of the tracks. This was the first time the core of the "classic" Peter Gabriel band has worked together since some sessions we did for another artist, Pamela Golden, in 1986. (We haven't all worked together with Peter since 1983).
Tony has a lot of background about the project up on his site including photos during the recording. Visit Tony's web site at www.tonylevin.com for general information, or visit papabear.com/passionatebass.htm for pictures and Tony's diary of the recording.
The way the album was recorded was interesting, too. It was done entirely on computer hard disk--no tape rolled during the record--using Macintosh-based Emagic Logic Audio (Tony's recording in Woodstock, NY) and Mark of the Unicorn Digital Performer (at the Synergy Studio in New Jersey). I spent a few days in the studio in Woodstock with Tony, his co-producer Artie Traum, and guitarist David Torn planning the tracks. Then I took clones of the multitracks from their Mac back home on CD-R, loaded the tracks into my computer and worked on the arrangements. Tony had another project to complete in California so every day or two I made MP3 reference mixes and emailed them to him. Tony could listen on his Powerbook and email his comments back to me. When all was okay, I made submixes of my parts to CD-R and sent them up to Woodstock to be conformed to the master. If we had higher bandwidth available at both ends we probably would have used the internet for that last stage too. Next time...
ANNIE HASLAM "THE DAWN OF ANADA"
During the autumn 1999, I spent time co-writing, co-producing and recording tracks for the new Annie Haslam album "The Dawn of Ananda". Other tracks were produced by Tony Visconti and by Annie's long-time band keyboardist Rave Tesar. I also did the mastering preparation for all of the songs on the album to sonically integrate the songs recorded at different times, in different studios and with different musicians into a smoothly flowing collection. The CD is in limited release now and will be in wider circulation later during 2000.
"My" tracks are entitled "Running River Runs" and "Angel Blue". For more information about this release on Annie's White Dove Records (#WD 000-02) visit Annie's site at www.anniehaslam.com, or visit Annie's Ananda page at annie-haslam.com/ananda.html.
SOME NEW RECORDINGS
There are new, or relatively new SYNERGY recordings about to become available. These are individual tracks that are appearing on two different compilation CDs.
The first is on a CD being released in the UK called "Music For The 3rd Millennium Volume 1" (AMP-CD039). The CD was announced to the world during the European Total Solar Eclipse on August 11, 1999. Details and ordering info are at http://www.ampmusic.demon.co.uk (ordering page: http://www.ampmusic.demon.co.uk/ampcds.html). It is also available in the US through The Artist Shop.
This CD is mostly electronic music and features tracks from Isao Tomita, Patrick Moraz, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, White Noise and others. Look for advertising in various magazines including "Progression".
The SYNERGY piece is called "Moon Caves" and did appear briefly on a limited edition compilation for the last New Music Seminar back in the mid-90s, and actually got some good club reviews (!), but it was never commercially available.
The other SYNERGY recording is an electronic interpretation of Ravel's Pavane. This appears on a benefit album for Kosovo relief called "Refuge". This album also features songs by Melanie and Peter Gabriel (Melanie's recording debut), Joy Askew, Vernon Reid, Freedy Johnston, Richard Barone and many others (15 tracks). The album will be available through most major online vendors. Read about the CD at www.joyaskew.com/refuge.html. You can buy it directly through The Orchard or through all of the major online vendors.
This Ravel piece is intended for a future SYNERGY album of classical interpretations. It is incomplete in that the instrumentation in this mix sounds quite orchestral. By the time it makes it to the SYNERGY collection, the instrumentation will have taken on a more "electronic" sound. This mid-production mix might become a collectors rarity.
So, it's not strictly SYNERGY
news, but my old friend, bandmate with Peter
Gabriel, bass player, international raconteur,
sometimes photographer, and King Crimson member has
published a book called "Beyond The Bass
Clef" , The Life and Art of Bass
Playing. Not only is it a great book to curl up
with, it's got my name in it a bunch of
times. Why don't you visit
page with pictures I
took of the events Tony writes about in his book.
(It can't be serious electronic music all of
So, it's not strictly SYNERGY news, but my old friend, bandmate with Peter Gabriel, bass player, international raconteur, sometimes photographer, and King Crimson member has published a book called "Beyond The Bass Clef" , The Life and Art of Bass Playing. Not only is it a great book to curl up with, it's got my name in it a bunch of times.
Why don't you visit my page with pictures I took of the events Tony writes about in his book. (It can't be serious electronic music all of the time.)
With the rise of electronica, ambient and other new offshoots of traditional electronic music there's been a flattering amount of sampling from the older SYNERGY albums used in recordings by newer artists. For instance, there's a nice bit from the SYNERGY "Audion" album used on Future Sound Of London's "Snake Hips" on the I.S.D.N. CD (Astralwerks/Virgin Records, Ltd.).
We're trying to compile a listing of all of these sampled uses of SYNERGY. If you've heard any, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are CDs out on the market, some available through big online services and stores, using the name SYNERGY. We don't want you to be misled by buying the wrong records and not getting the artist or quality of music that you're expecting. These recordings are not by Larry Fast/SYNERGY®. Legal action is being taken. The most prevalent of the fraudulent CDs are one called "Synergy:12 Electrifying Hits" on the LaserLight label, and another called "Matsuri" by new age musicians from Australia calling themselves Synergy on the Celestial Harmonies label. These are in clear violation of the real SYNERGY's United States Trademarks. If you run into others please let us know by email.
There has been a lot of speculation and there have been many unanswered questions about what happened to Larry Fast and SYNERGY over the last few years. A few of the most asked questions are addressed on the SYNERGY FAQs page.
for older news items visit the SYNERGY NEWS ARCHIVE
© 2004 Synergy® Electronic Music, Inc.
See top of page for latest revision date.