Why Electronic Music Fans Should Know About Suzanne Ciani

Who? A woman who deserves to be remembered for her contributions to synths and electronic music. This article (via Dazed Digital) first appeared in 2012.

In 1968, the same year that Wendy Carlos and her Moog synthesiser helped reinvent the sound and image of classical music with “Switched-on Bach“, Suzanne Ciani, an undergraduate composer at Boston’s Wellesley College, had an electronic epiphany of her own. On a field trip to the city’s MIT campus, she encountered a rogue professor who had spent the entire physics budget trying to synthesise the sound of a violin by separating its different elements and reconstructing them on a computer.Upon hearing his wild experiments, Ciani – herself frustrated at the constraints of classical instrumentation – decided to devote her music to this radical new approach to composition. It was a decision that would eventually lead her to become one of the most innovative, yet unheralded, electronic musicians of the last 40 years.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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