Larry Fast

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Larry Fast
Larry Fast performing in 2006
Larry Fast performing in 2006
Background information
Born (1951-12-10) December 10, 1951 (age 70)
OriginEssex County, New Jersey
GenresElectronic music
Years active1975–present
LabelsPassport, Atlantic, Voiceprint, ABC Classics

Lawrence Roger Fast (born December 10, 1951) is an American synthesizer player and composer. He is best known for his 1975–1987 series of synthesizer music albums (Synergy) and for his contributions to a number of popular music acts, including Peter Gabriel, Foreigner, Nektar, Bonnie Tyler, and Hall & Oates.[1]


Fast grew up in Livingston, New Jersey and attended Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, where he obtained a degree in History. There he took his previous training in piano and violin and melded them with computer science to become interested in synthesized music and to build his own primitive sound-making electronic devices.

He was introduced to Rick Wakeman, the keyboard player from the band Yes, during a local radio interview, and traveled to the UK to work with Yes on their 1974 album Tales from Topographic Oceans.[2] It was there that he got a recording contract with Passport Records.

The Synergy project[edit]

Fast recorded a series of pioneering synthesizer music albums under the project name Synergy.

The first album in the series, Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra, was released as an LP in 1975. Like the following albums in the series, it exclusively made use of synthesizers and electronic instruments. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Fast released eight more Synergy LPs on Passport Records, all of which were later re-released on CDs. The 1998 remastered re-release of Semi-Conductor, a compilation album originally released in 1984, contained ten additional tracks. The eleventh album in the series, Reconstructed Artifacts, was released in 2003; it contained completely new performances of select compositions from the previous albums, using modern digital synthesizers as well as new digital recording technologies.

At least two tracks from the album Audion (1981) were used as the basis for music in Commodore 64 computer games: Rob Hubbard's scores for the C64 version of Zoids and Master of Magic, which were unofficial partial-covers of songs Ancestors and Shibolet.

Synergy's first album states "..and nobody played guitar." The second album, Sequencer, says "...and still no guitars." These are rumored to be a tongue-in-cheek response to statements that appeared on albums by the rock group Queen that they used no synthesizers, which were made to inform listeners who assumed otherwise. Fast's third Synergy album, Cords, states "Finally, guitars...sort of," which references the use of a Russ Hamm Guitar Synthesizer played by Pete Sobel.

In August 2013, after several years of no releases, "Tower Indigo" was released on the Projekt Records compilation Possibilities of Circumstance.[3]

The Synergy albums are:

  • 1975: Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra No 66 Billboard 200 (18 weeks)
  • 1976: Sequencer No 144 Billboard 200 (11 weeks)
  • 1978: Cords No 146 Billboard 200 (6 weeks)
  • 1979: Games
  • 1981: Audion
  • 1981: Computer Experiments, Volume One
  • 1982: The Jupiter Menace (soundtrack for film The Jupiter Menace)
  • 1984: Semi-Conductor (compilation containing two new tracks)
  • 1987: Metropolitan Suite
  • 1998: Semi-Conductor, Release 2 (re-release of Semi-Conductor, remastered and containing ten additional tracks)
  • 2003: Reconstructed Artifacts (compilation consisting of re-recorded versions of old tracks)

Fast has been developing a new Synergy album. This will be his first studio album of new material in over twenty years. According to Fast's website, it will use primarily software synthesizers (one of which is, fittingly, Sample Logic's Synergy synthesizer) rather than the hardware he had been using. He has amassed new thematic material for the album and also plans to rework old and unreleased pieces.[4]

Other music projects[edit]

In addition to the Synergy albums, Fast made contributions to musical projects headed by other people:

Other interests[edit]

Fast has done some work with designing listening devices for the hearing disabled; his wife had been working in the field for some time. Fast owns several patents[7] for audio distribution using infrared optical technologies.[8] Fast is also part of a government group aiming to protect some of New Jersey's historic assets against developers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Biography: Synergy". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Audion CD details". Voiceprint Records (Floating World label). Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Various Artists: Possibilities of Circumstance". Aug 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Update March/April of 2009". April 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  5. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Biography: Nektar". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  6. ^ Prasad, Anil. "Evolutionary snapshots". Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Patent US5548654 - Infrared audio transmitter system - Google Patents". Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Patent US5596648 - Infrared audio transmitter system - Google Patents". 7 April 1994. Retrieved 4 March 2014.

External links[edit]