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 atwww.anniehaslam.com, or visit Annie's Ananda page atannie-haslam.com/ananda.html.
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 atwww.joyaskew.com/refuge.html. You can buy it directly throughThe Orchardor 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 visitmy 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 email@example.com
There are CDs out on the market, some available through big online services and stores, using the nameSYNERGY. 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'sUnited States Trademarks. If you run into others please let us know byemail.
I appeared (non-musically) at an historic side trip during the 107thAudio Engineering Societyconvention in New York on Saturday, September 25, 1999. This was a bus trip for convention attendees to the Columbia University Computer Music Center. The CUCMC used to be known as the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Since the 1950s the center has been one of the premier locations for the development of electronic music in the United States. Many well-known pioneers of the electronic music arts either studied or taught there including Milton Babbitt, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Alice Shields, Wendy Carlos, Pril Smiley, Robert Moog and many, many others. (No, I didn't study there, but the place has exerted an influence on me).
The centerpiece from my perspective as a technical historian (my other life) is the huge, room-size, vacuum tube RCA Sound Synthesizer Mark II. The sound generating and manipulating functions of this machine anticipated many of the facilities taken for granted years later on analog synthesizers. During AES, the present day staff at CUCMC gave tours of the facility showing off the RCA and some of the other archeological gems of electronic music technology that they still have.
In front of a section of the RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer, August ,1999.
The SYNERGY STUDIO is undergoing an upgrade for the first time in about three years. We're installing a new 450 MHz Blue and White G3 Macintosh and Mark Of The Unicorn digital audio system to complement the older Digidesign ProTools / Opcode StudioVision Pro system we've been upgrading in one form or another since about 1989. Now we can run some of the new cool software synthesis packages like the BitHeadz Retro AS-1 and get those analog sounds without fighting with all of the old modular equipment as much. Since a lot of people have been asking for it, we've put up a small equipment section in the Productions & Studio page.
A couple of items have run recently. They're worth checking out:
There was a feature article in the May issue of Stereo Review's Sound and Vision. The article is called "Upstairs/Downstairs" and shows a bit of my studio at home. The article is posted at the Sound & Vision site for a while, though it's unclear how long the publisher will leave it on the server.
There's a long interview by Barry Cleveland that ran in the March 1999 issue of Electronic Musician. You can read a copy of it posted here at the Synergy site.
There was a cover story in Issue 28 (summer/fall 1998) of Progressionmagazine, page 20.
USA Today had a half-page feature in the Living section on August 31, 1998. The article was posted at http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/lmds335.htm for a while, though it's unclear how long USA Today leaves old news on the server.
The NEARfest, the northeast progressive rock festival in Bethlehem, PA on June 26, 1999 went beautifully. It was a sold out conference and concert. The promoters are already planning NEARFest 2000 in a bigger location. You can visit the NEARfest site athttp://ghostland.com/nearfest/to find out more.
Just clear up any confusion, I didn't play or perform a music set. What I did was a talk with audio examples about my experiences with, and thoughts regarding, creating progressive music. There were slides and studio reference (work) mixes from mid-production showing the evolution of several songs including those from my own Synergy works, Peter Gabriel, and some historic background about my earliest technical work with Rick Wakeman. And we did takes some questions from the audience.
My talk and many of the other performances are to be webcast by Studio M. I'm not sure if this will be in real time or broadcast at some time in the future. When we know more we'll let you know.
We've got a new domain name for the Synergy site. Now you can reach us at synergy-emusic.com. You can continue to use www.eclipse.net/~synergy which will remain active. And it seems that www.synergy-emusic.com works too, but you don't actually need that "www" for this URL. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org though we're moving that to email@example.com. For now you can use either one.
There's been a lot of buzz about a Nektar reunion. The buzz is largely true. There's movement toward getting the Nektar catalog reissued, and getting back together to do a new album. I'll probably be involved. There are many logistical problems to be worked out so it won't happen quickly. You can keep up on the latest developments by checking out the Nektar site at www.nektar.com. As of March, 1999 it looks like this is going to take a long time to get together, but the guys want it to happen so hopefully it will.