November 2008:After a nice 10 year run, XM Satellite Radio has all but ceased to exist following the merger with Sirius. My favorite XM channels, many programmed and helmed by people who have become my friends, have disappeared. The XM staff has been decimated. I can't even begin to go into the intrigue and market forces that have once again intruded into the creative arts. My audio logos which had been heard across the 170 XM channels since the operation went live in 2001, and circulated as the service was being built since late 1998, have been taken off the air by the new SiriusXM management. It was nice while it lasted.
September-October 2008:The last few months have been spent working on various projects, both technical and those not even related to Synergy music. My broadcast roots have been evident with work widely heard creating music logos and sonic beds for a major superstation carried on most cable systems, and as small as helping to set up a fully-digital community broadcast TV station in the town where I live. My new studio Macintosh has been handling the workload, including digital video editing, very nicely. It has gone so smoothly that while I once thought that I would keep my readers posted about the troubles of a major studio update, that just hasn't happened. Every software install, like the latest Waves® plug-ins, have been completely uneventful.
Next up, some producing work on two album projects for other artists. Too soon to give the particulars, but watch this space.
As some of you know, my volunteer work in historic preservation (something completely outside of my music career) has taken more of my time and attention as I have been appointed to some positions of regional responsibility by different levels of government here in New Jersey. That, and my work with technology for the hearing disabled, has conspired to push my own Synergy composing projects lower on my priority list. But, I'm hopeful that some of those other projects will wrap up later this fall and there will be enough time to get back to the Synergy projects.
May 2008:All the rest of the Synergy albums are now available on iTunes. We have to get a listing glitch straightened out, but for now search for "Synergy" to find all of the albums and titles with the exception 'Reconstructed Artifacts' which for some reason is found under "Larry Fast". We are aware of the other "synergys" that are listed. Some are beyond our reach outside of the US trademark jurisdiction, and some are not.
March 2008:Interview on Gearwire.There's a nice audio interview that I did with Gearwire's Bill Holland. It's called "From Memorymoog to MOTU: The Electronic Journey of Larry Fast." Click the link to listen.
NEARfest X (2008)I'll be opening the tenth NEARfest with a solo performance of Synergy music on Friday night June 20, 2008. Just me, the Macintosh and a couple of synthesizers and modules. It will be a set of classic Synergy pieces, some dating back to the mid-1970s. I'm in the process of making sure that the equipment, music, MIDI files and other devices will be ready for the show. Keep checking the NEARfest site and we'll have more here as it develops.
February 2008: Mike Smith from the Dave Clark Five died this month. What's the connection? Even though I was a big (huge) fan of the guitars and drum Beatles back in 1964, Mike played a keyboard, aVox Continental organ in the DC5. I could do that, I thought. I already played piano. And from that inspiration, seeing electronic keyboards in a rock band, it wasn't that big a leap to Moogs and Mellotrons for me a few years later. I got to meet and work with Mike in the mid 1980s on some American Airlines commercial tracks in New York for Radio Kings Productions. He was gracious even as I peppered him with questions about the Ed Sullivan show and the British Invasion of 1964. We exchanged Christmas cards for years until his accident made it so difficult for him to manage in 2003. He inspired me to do what I do and I'll miss him. (watch YouTube video)
January 2008: No particular projects to report on right now (at least that I can say anything about). The latest Synergy Studio news is that the new MacPro computer arrived at the end of December 2007 along with a whole slew of software, both new and updates. There's also a little bit of new I/O hardware from Mark of the Unicorn for higher sample rates and word length than I've had before. Already in areMOTU's latest versions of Digital Performer, MachFive 2 and Unisyn; and Key To Sound's NextSyn. Coming are the latest BIASPeak and IK Multimedia's SampleMoog. Old friends like the Kurzweils remain in the arsenal. Though I haven't been anApple Logicuser, the new live-performance MainStage module looks very attractive for using virtual synthesis on the road. I'm kicking around the idea of doing a blog about the upgrades and what I'm doing with them. Watch for more . . .