Ciani is a composer, recording artist, and pioneer in the field
of electronic music and sound design. She is best loved for her
fifteen albums of original music which feature her performances
in a broad array of expressions: pure electronic, solo piano,
piano with orchestra, and piano with jazz ensemble. Her music,
renowned for its romantic, healing, and aesthetic qualities,
has found a rapidly growing international audience, and her performances
include numerous benefits for humanitarian causes.
Ciani resides in Northern California where, in 1995, she established
her own record label, Seventh Wave. Ciani felt the need to own
and control her own creative work. "In many ways, this label
represents the culmination of the long journey of my evolution
as a recording artist," says Ciani.
the eighties and early nineties, in order to finance her recording
projects, Ciani brought her expertise to Madison Avenue. Her
New York-based commercial production company, Ciani-Musica, Inc.,
was the leader in the field of sound design and TV spot scoring,
creating award-winning music for a host of high profile Fortune
500 clients, including Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, A T & T and
General Electric. Additionally, Ciani has scored the Lily Tomlin
feature 'The Incredible Shrinking Woman,' and 'Mother
as well as scoring for the TV daytime serial 'One Life to Live'.
the early nineties Ciani re-located to northern California to
concentrate on her artistic career from her sea-side studio.
She has toured throughout the United States, Italy, Spain, and
many recognitions include five Grammy nominations for Best New
Age Album, an INDIE
award for Best New Age Album, numerous Clios,
a Golden Globe, and Keyboard Magazine's "New Age Keyboardist
of the Year."
is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a Masters in Music
Composition from the University of California at Berkeley.
Suzanne Ciani's Early
At the age of five, Suzanne taught herself to play piano,
inspired by Bach and the composers of the Romantic era. She received
her classical music training at The Longy School of Music and at Wellesley College, in Massachusetts,
and then headed for the University of California at Berkeley
for her master's degree in music composition and a fortuitous
meeting with a synthesizer pioneer.
University of California at Berkeley
in University of California at Berkeley, Suzanne fell under the spell of the synthesizer
designer Don Buchla and set her course for electronic music.
She says, "His designs for instruments were extraordinary.
He brought the thought process of designing musical instruments
right down to the origins of physical human nature and music.
There is nobody like him."
the link, Suzanne and Electronic Music
New York, TV and More
1974 Suzanne moved back to New York and started her own production
company, Ciani/Musica, where she electrified the commercial music
scene with her unique sound design for television advertising
and arcade games. Her vocal processing, using a series of devices
she dubbed "the voice box," became a trademark sound.
the link, Commercial Themes and Sound Logos
the links, Early Ciani Photo Gallery
and the Ciani Mementos
The Artist Emerges
she was in demand by the Fortune 500, her artistic self-expression
soon drove Suzanne to eclipse her production company with her
solo recording work. Her 1982 debut release, "Seven Waves," became
a hit first in Japan. Her second album, "The Velocity of Love,"
connected quickly with the New Age radio stations that had begun
to appear in the U.S.
Building The Recording
After releasing five CD's on the Private Music label, two of which were Grammy-nominated, Suzanne discovered she had breast cancer and realized she must get out of the frantic New York lifestyle, get healthy and devote her time exclusively to her own music. She moved back to the West Coast and began writing and
recording. Her output has been prolific ever since.
The Home Studio
home in Bolinas, California, Suzanne found the tranquility and
inspiration to hone her reputation as a technologically self-sufficient
New Age artist. With the merging of her home and studio, her
life fell into complete harmony.
began her life with music at the age of seven when her mother
brought home a collection of classical albums from a neighborhood
fire sale. Suzanne was immediately entranced by the melodies
of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. As the third of six children
in a busy suburban household near Boston, Suzanne found her own
space by teaching herself to play the piano and to read music.
an undergraduate at Wellseley College, Suzanne began dividing
her time between performance and composition. She also began
her fascination with technology when one of her classes took
a field trip to nearby M.I.T., where a professor demonstrated
his early attempts to make a computer produce the sound of a
violin. Upon graduation, she went to the University of California
at Berkeley to continue her studies in composition. She received
her Masters Degree in composition there, but more importantly,
at nearby Stanford University and Mills College, she met three
of the founders of electronic music: John Chowning, Max Matthews
and Don Buchla.
became entranced with the ability to produce music with a machine,
and she became a devotee of synthesizers for the next two decades.
She has often joked that for at least ten years she was essentially
married to her Buchla synth, and in fact she did leave the massive
machine running for months at a time, programming it to compose
and play endless compositions.
Suzanne, this was the essence and importance of the synthesizer
- it could do things no other instrument in history could do!
It could work sub and super sonically; it could hold a note for
days; it could play with perfect pitch in a perfect sine wave.
Using dials, knobs and patch cords, Suzanne engaged in an elegant
dance with her synthesizer to produce her ground- breaking electronic
albums, while always remaining true to her classically inspired
sense of melody.
believe that the synth should follow its own course as an instrument,
but her position ultimately lost out to those who wanted simple
machines that duplicated the sounds of other instruments and
had preset voices. As this change in the world of electronic
music and instruments came about, Suzanne found herself returning
to classical instrumentation in support of her melodies, culminating
in her Grammy-nominated album for piano and orchestra, "Dream
Suite." This same sensibility is evident in "Pianissimo II" and
"Turning" as well.
CLICK HERE to download Suzanne's Resumé
CLICK HERE to download Suzanne's One Page Bio
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