Saturday, 31 March 2012

Suzanne Ciani - Lixiviation (2012)

Absolutely astonishing, revelatory collection of commercial and "secret" synth music by "the American Delia Derbyshire of The Atari Generation". Suzanne Ciani is a foundational electronic explorer who created a wealth of experimental synth music traversing academic and commercial boundaries. After completing an MA in music composition, Ciani was introduced to synth designer Don Buchla, whose Buchla 200 synthesizer would come to define much of her work for the next two decades. She counted the likes of synth maverick Vangelis and electronic music pioneer Harold Bode among her close friends and would set up Ciani Musica Inc. to publish her commercial endeavours for companies such as Coca Cola and Atari, while constantly working at the cutting edge of advances in electronic music and amassing an expansive vault of underexposed music which has remained untouched for over 30 years… until now. With 'Lixiviation' Finders Keepers contextualise Ciani not only as one of the very few female exponents and explorers of electronic music - alongside Chicago's Laurie Spiegel, Italy's Doris Norton, and a post-op Wendy Carlos - but also as a hugely significant cog in the machinery of modern electronic music, scanning her scores for TV and early Atari games alongside her work at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab with Max Matthews and John Chowning. It's an incredible collection, at once playful, colourful and wildly imaginative, and also hugely disciplined, complex and searching. Like the Daphne Oram Tapes which snuck out late last year, this album crucially places emphasis on the oft-neglected role of female artists in electronic music history, but perhaps more importantly rescues a chunk of treasure from the vaults which deserves to be heard by any self-respecting fan of synthesized sonics. So damn good.

This is for you Nick

Play Suzanne Ciani - Second Breath (Full)

1 comment:

  1. That's really kind, thanks! I'll let you know what I think.

    Coincidentally,I went up to London today and took my daughters to the Natural History and Science museums, and in the latter I visited the "Oramics to Electronica" exhibition. Amazing to see those machines and it blows my mind how exciting that stuff still sounds.

    You're not on lastfm are you? I post over there more than anywhere else.