In 1968, Suzanne Ciani was a music student at UC Berkeley when she met Don Buchla. Buchla had just created one of the first electronic musical instruments, a modular synthesizer. It looked like an old telephone switchboard with knobs and wires, dials and faders. Ciani fell in love with it. And it became the catalyst to her career - one of the most consequential and influential music careers of the 20th century. Ciani has been nominated for five Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album. Her warm, inviting electronic compositions have inspired numerous modern, avant-garde synth composers.
But, without even knowing, it's far more likely you've heard Ciani's work in the commercial space.
Ciani tells Lost Notes about balancing her commercial work with her artistic career - and how the two worlds became symbiotic. "I learned so much doing commercial work,” Ciani says. "I learned studio techniques, production techniques. I think they really were synergistic; my commercial work really did support my artwork, [though] not in obvious ways.”
With both her commercial and her artistic work, Ciani inspired a whole generation of synth musicians, including featured sound artists