MATRIXSYNTH: 17 Year Old Suzanne Ciani's Fish Music & More on Vinyl

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Monday, April 10, 2017

17 Year Old Suzanne Ciani's Fish Music & More on Vinyl


Label: Finders Keepers Records

Fish Music is set to drop on Record Store Day, April 22.

Format: 7"

More Info:

"Crystal clear one-sided vinyl. Previously unheard recording of an early installation project from a 17-year-old Suzanne Ciani"


You can find more releases from Suzanne Ciani on Finders Keepers Records here.

The following are the other releases featuring Ciani's Buchla compositions, captured for the archives.


BUCHLA CONCERTS 1975 (LIMITED EDITION)

Limited Embossed Leatherette Sleeve Edition

"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!"



SUZANNE CIANI FINDERS KEEPERS ANTHOLOGY

2XLP + CD + 7"


LIXIVIATION

"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 electronic 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 testing ground for virtually any type of new developments in electronic and computerized music amassing an expansive vault of commercially unexposed electronic experiments which have remained untouched for over 30 years… until now.

Finders Keepers Records are happy to announce a new creative archive based relationship 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 collection of previously unreleased recordings. Lixiviation complies and recontextualises both secret music and commercial experiments of Suzanne Ciani made for microcosmic 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."

1 comment:

  1. a few things:

    a) she was not 17 when she did this. more like 30 or 31.

    b) the design of the packaging is very nice and i appreciate the period Woodfield Mall logo, but the cringe-worthy description on the label site does the music and its context quite a disservice.

    Chicagoland's Woodfield Mall is not just some random "mid-America shopping mall", it was at the time of its opening in 1971, and still in 1977 when the music was commissioned, the largest shopping mall in the United States and is still one of the 10 largest US malls. the center court featured (until those idiots at Simon removed it in 2004) a fantastic aquarium and fountain, which you could actually walk through. this is some absolutely cool shit for a child to enjoy, i can say from personal experience. i spent probably a few cumulative hours of my childhood inside that aquarium.

    it would be nice to know if the music she composed for this was still being used in the 80s when i was there, or the 90s when i last experienced it.

    c) fun fact: Woodfield Mall is right across the street from Knobcon, the world's only synthesiser convention!

    ReplyDelete

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