LOS ANGELES, CA, January 6, 2012 - An intriguing and historically significant retrospective of unreleased material from electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, Lixiviation, due February 28 on B-Music/ Finders Keepers Records, is a fascinating compilation of unearthed gems from one of electronic music's earliest innovators. Spanning nearly two decades from 1968-1985 the 16-track album celebrates Ciani's formative years as a musician as it showcases her early synth compositions alongside her cutting edge commercial work for such companies as Atari, PBS, Ballys and Coca-cola. Lixiviation comes as the result of a new creative archive based relationship between B-Music/Finders Keepers Records and Suzanne Ciani.
Ciani's detailed and academic approach to music and electronics coupled with an impeccable sense of timing and melody (and a good sense of humor) shines throughout this new collection of previously unreleased recordings. Lixiviation compiles and re-contextualizes both secret music and commercial experiments of Ciani made for microcosmic time slots and never previously documented on vinyl or CD. The album oscillates between Ciani's early experimental electronic compositions and a variety of commercial works. There's her famous "Pop & Pour" for Coca-Cola, scores for ITT and Almay commercials, and the Atari video games logo and corporate tag. There's also the Kraftwerk-esque TV spot for Atari's "Liberator." Interspersed through the compilation is a variety of ultra rare synth experiments, ranging from the otherworldly hums and arpeggiated synth lines of title track "Lixiviation" to the bubbling dreamscape of "Princess with Orange Feet" and the nine-minute ambient finale of "Second Breath."
Labeled the "American Delia Derbyshire of the Atari generation," Ciani was a trailblazer in the fields of electronic music, synthesizers and sound design and one of the first women to make a name for herself in the male dominated world of electronic music. In an era when most musicians were enamored with rock and roll and electric guitars, Ciani was transfixed by the endless possibilities of synthesizers. She would go on to have a sonic portfolio boasting 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) in addition to her personal compositions - some of the most unique and experimental music of its time. Ciani would find great success both commercially and artistically: She was profiled by the New York Times in 1974, featured on "The David Letterman Show" in 1980 where she demonstrated her synthesizers to a bewildered Letterman, had the #1 sound design music house in New York, and would become the first solo female composer of a major Hollywood film when she scored Lily Tomlin's "The Incredible Shrinking Woman."
A classically trained musician with an MA in music composition this American Italian pianist had her roots in both digital and analog synthesis from the beginning. She studied at Stanford with Max Mathews, the father of computer music, and John Chowning, the father of digital frequency modulation and was first introduced to the synthesizer via her connections in the art world when abstract sculptor and collaborator Harold Paris introduced Ciani to synthesizer designer Don Buchla who created the instrument that would come to define Ciani's synthetic sound - the Buchla Synthesizer. 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) Ciani turned a hugely significant wheel behind-the-screens of many early computerized music modules throughout the 1980's dating back to her formative years studying at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Labs in the early '70s.
Cutting her teeth providing self-initiated electronic music projects for art galleries, experimental film directors, and pop record producers Ciani soon located to New York where she quickly became the go-to for electronic music services in both the underground experimental fields and the commercial advertising worlds alike. In 1974 she formed her own company Ciani/Musica and composed music for television commercials for Coca-Cola, Atari, Merrill Lynch, General Electric and Clairol, using a Buchla analog modular synthesizer. Besides music, her specialty was reproducing sound effects on the synthesizer that recording engineers found difficult to record properly; the sound of a bottle of Coke being opened and poured ("Pop & Pour") was one of her most widely recognized works, and was used in a series of radio and television commercials in the late 1970s. Counting names like Vangelis and Harald Bode amongst her close friends Ciani and her company became the testing ground for virtually any type of new developments in electronic and computerized music. She amassed an expansive vault of commercially unexposed electronic experiments which have remained untouched for over 30 years... until now.
This is the first sneak peek of the early Ciani metal music and non-pop that later went on to see her nominated for multiple Grammy awards for her later achievements which brought synthesizer music to the new age movement.
(B-Music/Finders Keepers Records)
Release Date: February 28, 2012
2. Atari Video Games Logo
3. "Clean Room" ITT TV Spot
4. Almay "Eclipse" TV Spot
5. Paris 1971
6. Sound of a Dream Kissing
7. Atari Corporate Tag
8. Princess With Orange Feet
9. "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