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SUZANNE CIANI

  • 01. Concert At WBAI Free Music Store
    02. Concert At Phil Niblock’s Loft
    cover

    SUZANNE CIANI

    Buchla concerts 1975

    [engl] Finders Keepers invite you to witness the incredible first ever Buchla synthesiser concerts/demonstrations providing a distinctive feminine alternative to The Silver Apples Of The Moon if they had ever been presented in phonographic form. This is history in the remaking. This spring Finders Keepers Records are proud to release an archival project that not only redefines musical history but boasts genuine claim to the overused buzzwords such as pioneering, maverick, experimental, groundbreaking and esoteric, while questioning social politics and the evolution of music technology as we’ve come to understand it. To describe this records as a game-changer is an understatement. This record represents a musical revolution, a scientific benchmark and a trophy in the cabinet of counter culture creativity. This record is a triumphant yardstick in the synthesiser space race and the untold story of the first woman on the proverbial moon. While pondering the early accolades of this record it’s daunting to learn that this record was in fact not a record at all… It was a manifesto and a gateway to a new world, that somehow never quite opened. If the unfamiliar, modernistic, melodic, pulses, tones and harmonics found on this 1975 live presentation/grant application/educational demonstration had been placed in a phonographic context alongside the promoted work of Morton Subotnick, Walter Carlos or Tomita then the name Suzanne Ciani and her influence would have already radically changed the shape, sound and gender of our record collections. Hopefully there is still chance. In short, Suzanne was a self-imposed twenty-year-old employee of the Buchla modular synthesiser company, San Francisco’s neck and neck contender to New York’s Moog. Buchla was run by a community of festival freaks and academic acid eaters whose roots in new age lifestyles and the reinvention of art and music replaced the business acumen enjoyed by its likeminded East Coasters. In the eyes of the consumer the creative refusal to adopt rudimentary facets like a piano keyboard controller rendered the Buchla synthesiser the more obscure stubborn sister of the synth marathon, steering these incredible units away from the mainstream into the homes and studios of free music aficionados, art house composers and die-hard revolutionaries. Championed and semi-showcased by composer Morton Subotnick on his albums The Bull and Silver Apples Of The Moon, Buchla’s versatility began to open the minds of a new generation, but the high-end design features and no-compromise modus operandi was often confused with incompatibility and, in the pulsating shadow of Moog’s marketing, the revolution would not be televised nor patronised. Suzanne Ciani, as one of the very few female composers on the frontline (and also providing the back line) did not lose faith. These “concerts” are the epitome of rare music technology historic documents, performed by a real musician whose skills and academic education in classical composition already outweighed her male synthesiser contemporaries of twice her age. At the very start of her fragile career these recordings are nothing short of sacrificial ode to her mentor and machine, sonic pickets of the revolution and love letters to an absolutely genuine vision of and ‘alternative’ musical future. In denouncing her own precocious polymathmatic past in a bid to persuade the world to sing from a new hymn sheet, Suzanne Ciani created a bi-product of never before heard music that would render the pigeon holes “ambient” and “futuristic” utterly inadequate. Providing nothing short of an entirely different feminine take on the experimental “records” of Morton Subotnick and proving to a small, judgmental audience and jury the true versatility of one of the most radical and idiosyncratic musical instruments of the 20th century. These recordings have not been heard since then. The importance of these genuinely lost pieces of electronic musics puzzle almost eclipses the glaring detail of Suzanne’s gender as a distinct minority in an almost exclusively male dominated, faceless, coldly scientific landscape. Those familiar with Suzanne’s work, a vast vault of previously unpublished “non-records”, will already know how the creative politics in her art of “being” simultaneously reshaped the worlds of synth design, advertising and film composition before anyone had even dropped a stylus in her groove. Needless to say this record, finally commanding the archival format of choice, courtesy of the Ciani and Finders Keepers longstanding unison, was not the last “first” with which this hugely important composer would gift society, and the future of a wide range of exciting evolving creative disciplines. You have found a holy grail of electronic music and a female musical pioneer who was too proactive to take the trophies. With the light of Buchla and Ciani’s initial flame Finders Keepers continues to take a torch through the vaults of this lesser-celebrated music legacy shining a beam on these “non-records” that evaded the limelight for almost half a century. You can’t write history when you are too busy making it. With fresh ink in the bottomless well, let’s start at the beginning. Again. You, are invited!
    Format
    LP
    Release-Datum
    08.07.2016
     
  • 01. Flowers Of Evil - Based On The Poem Élévation by Charles Baudelaire
    02. Glass Houses
    03. Token Spokes Part One
    04. Token Spokes Part Two
    cover

    SUZANNE CIANI

    Flowers Of Evil

    [engl] As a genuine vanguard of electronic music composition at the forefront of the modular synthesiser revolution in the late 1960s, Suzanne Ciani’s forward-thinking approach to new music would rarely look to the past for inspiration, which makes this unheard composition from 1969 a rare exception to the collective futurist vision of Ciani and synthesiser designer Don Buchla. In choosing to adapt the controversial prose of French poet Charles Baudelaire, Suzanne would join the ranks of ongoing generations of pioneering musicians like Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Serge Gainsbourg, Etron Fou Leloublan, Celtic Frost and Marc Almond (not forgetting Star Trek’s William Shatner!), all equally inspired by the 19th century writer’s works of “modernité” (modernity), a self-coined term dedicated to capturing the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, best exemplified in his symbolic, erotic and macabre ode to Parisian industrialisation, Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers Of Evil). In her varied career that would combine art gallery installations, major film soundtrackings and commissions for Atari, Suzanne Ciani’s earliest experiments remain some of her most challenging, beguiling and timeless… Flowers Of Evil ticks all the above boxes and flicks switches that would power-up a new uncharted universe of her own musical modernité. For the many enthusiasts that have already drawn the parallels between Baudelaire’s writings and experimental/ electronic music (a relationship rivalled only by the likes of J. G. Ballard and Aldous Huxley) some might instantly recognise an unconscious sistership between this recording and another 1969 electronic adaptation of Flowers Of Evil by celebrated female electronic composer Ruth White. An interesting distinction of White’s excellent version of Flowers Of Evil (released via Limelight records, home to the likes of Fifty Foot Hose and Paul Bley) is that its dark tone generation and vocal manipulation was created with a Moog synthesiser, the commercially triumphant rival to Suzanne and Don’s Buchla Systems (Buchla and Moog’s historic, simultaneous, neck-and-neck synth developments are well documented.) The fact that Ciani’s version was never intended for commercial release (not unlike her 1975 Buchla concerts, which could easily have taken Morton Subotnick’s Bull by the horns!) is also poetically reflective of the nature of Ciani and Buchla’s alternative perspective. The choice to present this extract from Flowers Of Evil in its intended French language further distances Ciani’s faithful reaction from some of its better-known variations. Having attempted to voice the poem herself, the multilingual Italian-American composer’s French accent did not meet her own standards, resulting in the request for a fellow unnamed French student who lived on campus at Mills College in Oakland to accurately verbalise the section of Baudelaire’s collection entitled Élévation.
    Format
    LP
    Release-Datum
    01.06.2019
     
  • cover

    SUZANNE CIANI

    Help, Help, the Globolinks!

    [engl] As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault Finders Keepers Records twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in the history of multi-disciplinary electronic music. Open-minded, unpretentious, enigmatic and consistently inspiring, Suzanne Elizabeth Ciani would shatter the mould and invert the stereotype of electronic composers in the early 1970s with a bona fide education in classical music, a clear understanding of technology and a genuine will to communicate and naturalise electronic music. All of these unique attributes, coupled with her natural charm and generosity, would win her success and notoriety in the colliding worlds of art, film, advertising, theatre, dance and eventually popular recorded music in the latter part of the 21st century – a multifarious achievement which remained unrivalled by any of her contemporaries, regardless of gender, conquering many male-dominated platforms and breaking creative ground in the process. It is exactly these key factors that would form the basis for this multifaceted musical project that is stored within the grooves of the record you are now holding. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theatre production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne’s vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer but also highlights her European heritage – working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department). Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the 80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects – all of which would make their world premier in New York high school theatres in April of 1980. “I was honoured to have been selected to create a new electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera for children,” Suzanne told Finders Keepers. “The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production.” For this task Suzanne would approach the brief with the same zeal and tenacity that she continues to apply to all her work by reinventing the process, challenging convention and supplying the audience with something they have never experienced before. For Help, Help The Globolinks Ciani would give Menotti’s well-travelled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality quite potentially overshadowing the “human” casts exceptional abilities and challenging the director’s and writer’s authority in true Ciani style: “I recall meeting with Maestro Menotti at his home in New York City,” recalls Suzanne. “Later I was told that he was upset by the size of my credit on the poster.” Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne, as a serious and genuinely revolutionary artist, managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema (Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri readily observes that all the best space film scores veered from this pairing) but within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel (scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as “the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie” with The Incredible Shrinking Woman release one year after The Globolinks redux debut). Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl’s Aniara or Remi Gassman’s Electronics for family consumption, this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Having honed her craft in the close company of late synthesiser designer Don Buchla (a company of whose development she played a key role) it is plain to see how the young Suzanne Ciani combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician in equal measures, a rare duplicity which would be essential The Globolinks and all our musical quests for a brighter future.
    Format
    LP
    Release-Datum
    17.11.2017
     
  • 01. Liberator
    02. Summer
    cover

    SUZANNE CIANI

    Liberator

    [engl] For all your discotheque, roller rink and amusement arcade needs Finders Keepers Records in collaboration with synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani bring you the full version edit of her intergalactic vocoder driven TV jingle for Atari’s classic Liberator arcade game. Originally proposed for a possible promotional flexi-disc release this remastered feature length version includes a lost second verse and extra custom-made space age sound designs that hark back to her earlier work on Meco’s Star Wars Galactic Funk cash-in. Housed here in Atari style packaging and pressed on diamond white wax this 45 single comes complete with another Atari jingle Summer taken from her groundbreaking original company portfolio cassettes which were recently, errr, liberated from her original studio archives. This limited release also marks a brand new campaign of further unearthed computer music/synth funk artefacts from Finders Keepers latest trip into the Ciani Musica archive which will coincide with her first-ever Buchla fuelled tour of Europe penned for Autumn 2014.
    Format
    7''
    Release-Datum
    30.07.2014
    EAN
    EAN 5060099505218
     
  • 01. Lixiviation
    02. Atari Video Games Logo
    03. ‘Clean Room’ ITT TV Spot
    04. Almay ‘Eclipse’ TV Spot
    05. Paris 1971
    06. Sound Of A Dream Kissing
    07. Atari Corporate Tag
    08. Princess With Orange Feet
    09. ‘Pop & Pour’ Coca-Cola Logo
    10. ‘Discover Magazine’ TV Spot
    11. Live Buchla Concert 1975
    12. ‘Inside Story’ PBS TV Spot
    13. ‘Liberator’ Atari TV SPot
    14. Eighth Wave
    15. Sound Of Wetness
    16. Second Breath
    cover

    SUZANNE CIANI

    Lixiviation

    [engl] The American Delia Derbyshire Of The Atari Generation With a sonic portfolio that boasts commissions for the Xenon classic pinball machine, the sounds for the Meco Star Wars theme, the Atari TV commercials and the elec- tronic sound effects in the original Stepford Wives film (amongst many others) the mutant electronic music CV of Suzanne Ciani is proof that in a 1970s commercial world of boys toys, monopolised by a male dominated media industry, a woman’s touch was the essential secret ingredient to successful sonic seduction. A classically trained musician with an MA in music composition this American Italian pianist was first introduced to the synthesizer via her connections in the art world when abstract Sculptor and collaborator Harold Paris introduced Suzanne to synthesizer designer Don Buchla who created the instrument that would come to define Ciani's synthetic sound (The Buchla Synthesiser). Cutting her teeth providing self-initiated electronic music projects for art galleries, experimental film directors, pop record producers and proto-video nasties Suzanne soon located to New York where she quickly became the first point of call for electronic music services in both the underground experimental fields and the commercial advertising worlds alike. Counting names like Vangelis and Harald Bode amongst her close friends Suzanne and her Ciani Musica companybecame the test- ing ground for virtually any type of new developments in electronic and computerized music amassing an expansive vault of commercially unexposed electronic experi- ments which have remained untouched for over 30 years... until now. Finders Keepers Records are happy to announce a new creative archive based rela- tionship with Suzanne Ciani, a very unique and celebrated experimental composer in her own right, who, as one of the very few female composers in the field (Save Chicago's Laurie Spiegel, Italy's Doris Norton, and a post-op Walter Wendy Carlos) turned a hugely significant wheel behind-the-screens of many early computerised music modules throughout the 1980s dating back to her formative years studying at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Labs in the early 70s. Suzanne Ciani's detailed and academic approach to music and electronics coupled with an impeccable sense of timing and melody (and a good sense of humour) shines throughout this new collec- tion of previously unreleased recordings. Lixiviation complies and recontextualises both secret music and commercial experiments of Suzanne Ciani made for micro- cosmic time slots and never previously documented on vinyl or CD. This is the first sneak peek of the early Ciani metal music and non-pop that later went on see her nominated for multiple Grammy awards for her later achievements which brought synthesiser music to the new age movement.
    Format
    LP
    Release-Datum
    13.02.2012
    EAN
    EAN 5060099503665