Larry Fast

born on 10/12/1951 in Newark, NJ, United States

Alias Lawrence Roger Fast

Larry Fast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Larry Fast
Origin West Essex, New Jersey
Genres Electronic music
Instruments Keyboard
Years active 1975present
Labels Passport, Atlantic, Voiceprint, ABC Classics
Associated acts Synergy, Nektar, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Tony Levin Band

Larry Fast (Lawrence R. Fast) is a synthesizer expert and composer. He is best known for Synergy, his 1975-1987 series of synthesizer music albums, and for his contribution to a number of popular music acts, including Peter Gabriel, Foreigner, and Hall and 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. It was there that he got a recording contract with Passport Records.

The Synergy project

Fast recorded a series of pioneering synthesizer music albums under the project name Synergy. Some of this work was used as the basis for music in Commodore 64 and Amiga computer games, notably Rob Hubbard's score for the C64 version of Zoids, which was an unofficial cover of Synergy's Ancestors from the 1981 album Audion.

The first album in the series, Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra, was released as an LP in 1975. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he released eight more Synergy LPs on Passport Records, all of which were later re-released on CDs. The 1998 re-release of Semi-Conductor, a compilation album originally released in 1984, was a remastered version of the original, and contained ten additional tracks. The eleventh album in the series, Reconstructed Artifacts, was released in 2003, and contained completely new performances of select compositions from the previous albums, using modern digital synthesizers, as well as the new digital recording technologies. Currently Fast is slowly developing a new Synergy album, which is likely to come out in 2011. This will be his first studio album consisting of new material in over twenty years. According to Fast's website, it will heavily make use of software synthesizers (one of which is, ironically, Sample Logic's Synergy) rather than the hardware equipment he has been using so far. He has amassed a lot of new thematic material and plans to rework some old, as yet unreleased pieces for the new album as well.

The albums by Synergy are:

  • 1975: Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra #66 Billboard 200 (18 weeks)
  • 1976: Sequencer #144 Billboard 200 (11 weeks)
  • 1978: Cords #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)

Other music projects

  • Fast worked sporadically with Nektar [2], providing much of the dominating synthesizers on their 1975 album Recycled.
  • Fast is also known for his work with Peter Gabriel. He played synthesizer on records and on tour, and rounded out the production team on Gabriel's albums from 1976 to 1986.
  • Fast contributed keyboard accompaniment for a few songs by Foreigner.
  • Fast toured and recorded with bassist Tony Levin (himself an alumnus of Peter Gabriel's band) as part of Levin's Waters of Eden band.
  • Fast collaborated on the 1980s pop music project Iam Siam, which produced the hit She Went Pop.
  • Fast contributed music to the Carl Sagan 1980 television program Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, and to the 1992 film Netherworld.
  • Fast produced and played synthesizer on Annie Haslam's 1989 release Annie Haslam.
  • Fast helped create the music for Tokyo DisneySea, a new Walt Disney theme park.

Other interests

Fast shows an interest in photography, with the picture on the back cover of Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra being taken by him, which he describes in great detail on his website, for example mentioning the type of camera he used and describing the circumstances under which the picture was taken. He occasionally shares original pictures on his website as well.

He has done some work with designing listening devices for the hearing disabled. His wife had been working in the field for some time. He owns several patents for optical distribution using infrared audio technologies.

Fast is also part of a government group aiming to protect some of New Jersey's historic assets against developers.


  1. Bush, John. Biography: Synergy. Allmusic. Retrieved on 21 May 2010.
  2. Eder, Bruce. Biography: Nektar. Allmusic. Retrieved on 21 May 2010.

External links

  • Larry Fast's official homepage, containing his biography and discography.
  • Synergy at All Music Guide
  • Larry Fast at
  • Larry Fast biography on
  • Synergy discography on
  • Interview with Larry Fast on innerviews
  • Interview with Larry Fast on Planet Origo
  • Larry Fast interview at
  • U.S. Patent 5548654, Infrared audio transmitter system, Lawrence R. Fast, Aug 1996.
  • U.S. Patent 5596648, Infrared audio transmitter system, Lawrence R. Fast, Jan 1997.
This page was last modified 19.09.2010 17:31:30

This article uses material from the article Larry Fast from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.