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Synergy & Taikoz Ltd

Synergy Percussion has the dual distinction of being Australia’s oldest and foremost contemporary music ensemble. A world of sound with percussion at its heart, the group celebrated 40 years of concerts, collaborations, recordings and commissions in 2014. Over four decades of huge cultural change, Synergy Percussion has remained vital and fiercely committed to defying expectations of what percussion music might aptly express. Core members Ian Cleworth, Bree van Reyk and Joshua Hill are all award-winning and internationally acclaimed exponents of new music in their own right, equally at home on world-music stages, contemporary/experimental art venues, pop concerts and recital halls. 
The ensembles’ expansive vision of percussion, together with the exceptionally wide musical experience of the members past and present, has allowed the group to work together with a diverse and exemplary family of artists from around the world. Collaborators include Fritz Hauser, Hossam Ramzy, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Aly N’Diaye Rose, Trilok Gurtu, Jose Vicente, Kazue Sawai, Dave Samuels, Evelyn Glennie, Riley Lee, Taikoz, Michael Kieran Harvey, Sydney Dance Company, Meryl Tankard and Regis Lansac, Akira Isogawa, Grainger String Quartet, William Barton, Leigh Warren Dancers, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra among many others.
Since 1997 Taikoz has developed an international reputation for vibrant performances that couple explosive energy and extreme dynamism with refinement and grace. From the most delicate melodies of the shakuhachi to the thunderous impact of the odaiko, Taikoz is at once meditative and free-spirited, primal and dramatic.

Taikoz perform on the stages of Australia's finest concert halls, as well having performed in leading theatres and concert halls worldwide including in Japan, Paris, Bangkok, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, The USA where Taikoz gave a series of performances on the West Coast, culminating in headline appearances in the Taiko Nation concerts at the 2014 World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles and most recently India, where Taikoz presented Chi Udaka, their collaboration with Lingalayam Dance Company, to critical acclaim.

The group regularly appears in the theatres of regional Australia, having undertaken eight Australia-wide tours. Taikoz has composed over thirty original works for wadaiko including several in combination with instruments such as shakuhachi, koto, marimba, saxophone, cello, drum set and didgeridoo. Distinguished composers Lachlan Skipworth, Sandy Evans, Gerard Brophy, Andrea Molino, Michael Askill, David Pye, Graeme Koehne and Timothy Constable have also written works for the ensemble.

Taikoz has collaborated with artists and companies as diverse as John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, taiko greats Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Yoko Fujimoto, Eitetsu Hayashi, Chieko Kojima, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, as well as distinguished choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli. In 2012, Taikoz collaborated with Kodo on a nation-wide tour of Australia. The group has also appeared in concerto works with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Dresden Sinfoniker in Europe. In February 2018, Taikoz, Riley Lee and Kaoru Watanabe were featured soloists with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing their own works in arrangements for the ensemble and orchestra, culminating in a newly commissioned work by Lachlan Skipworth called The Breath Of Thunder.

In 2016, Co-founders Ian Cleworth and Riley Lee were individually awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for contribution towards promoting friendship and goodwill between Australia and Japan.