Director: Micaela Haslam
High Soprano: Caroline Jaya-RatnamSopranos: Micaela Haslam, Rachel WestonAlto: Heather Cairncross
SYNERGY VOCALS started out as a quartet of female singers who performed Tehillim for Steve Reich’s 60th birthday concert in London in 1996. Twenty years later, the group comprises a substantial pool of singers able to deliver a broad repertoire in a variety of styles. The group specializes in close-microphone singing and is often associated with the music of Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Steven Mackey, and Luciano Berio, performing regularly with Ensemble Modern, Ictus, Ensemble InterContemporain, London Sinfonietta, and the Colin Currie Group.
Synergy has given concerts all over the world with orchestras and ensembles including the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, New World, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Remix, Nexus, Steve Reich & Musicians, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Claviers de Lyon, the Tempo Reale Ensemble, AskoǀSchönberg, the Hebrides Ensemble, the London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, and all five of the UK’s BBC orchestras. They have also collaborated with dance companies including the Royal Ballet (London), Rosas (Brussels), and Opéra de Paris.
The group’s world premières include Steve Reich’s Three Tales and Daniel Variations, Steven Mackey’s Dreamhouse, Louis Andriessen’s video opera La Commedia, David Lang’s writing on water, and Sir James MacMillan’s Since it was the day of Preparation…, as well as the UK première of Nono’s monumental Prometeo on London’s South Bank.
As well as live concerts and recordings, the group has undertaken educational and outreach projects in the UK, The Netherlands, the USA, and South America, coaching vocal ensembles and workshopping new works for voices. Micaela Haslam also coaches ensembles for Steve Reich in the preparation of his Music for 18 Musicians.
2016 was a very busy year for Synergy Vocals, with concerts all over the world in celebration of Steve Reich’s 80th birthday – in Europe, America, China, and Australia. In February, Synergy performed the UK premiere of Andriessen’s La Commedia in the Barbican (London) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins. They performed Music for 18 Musicians in Singapore with Steve Reich at the piano, gave several performances of The Desert Music with David Robertson in Munich and Sydney, and sang in many performances in an on-going tour of Rain Live (Music for 18 Musicians choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) with Ictus and the dancers of Rosas. The group recently sang Reich’s Three Tales in Carnegie Hall, and gave five performances of The Cave in Frankfurt (Germany). They even had performances of Steve Reich’s music on Christmas Day!
Synergy Vocals is featured on a variety of film soundtracks, including Nanny McPhee, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Severance, Triangle, and Jane Eyre, and television signature tunes including the recent Home Fires series for ITV (UK). Commercial recordings of the group include the 2011 Grammy winning Dreamhouse by Steven Mackey, Since it was the day of Preparation…. by Sir James MacMillan (with Hebrides Ensemble, recently released on Delphian Records), De Staat by Louis Andriessen (with London Sinfonietta), Three Tales by Steve Reich (with Steve Reich & Musicians), La Commedia by Louis Andriessen (with AskoǀSchönberg), Kompendium’s Beneath the Waves, These New Puritans’ Field of Reeds, Rob Reed’s Sanctuary, and Steven Wilson’s Grace for Drowning. The group’s most recent release is Berio’s Sinfonia with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Josep Pons (Harmonia Mundi).