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Suzanne Ciani

Articles about Suzanne Ciani:


We’re not sure why – but Behringer is looking for “synthesizer nerd chicks.”

Even more perplexing – it’s at the request of their corporate legal counsel:


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laurie-andersonIn honor of Ada Lovelace Day – an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science – we’d like to pay some respect to a few of the women of synthesis and electronic music.

This is in no way comprehensive – it’s just intended to be a reminder of the important role women have played in electronic music.

Laurie Anderson is an performance artist and musician that achieved the impossible. In 1981, she scored a worldwide hit with her avant garde electroacoustic single O Superman.

How may hit singles can claim lyrics like this?:

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms.
Your electronic arms.
In your arms.

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
Your petrochemical arms.
Your military arms.
In your electronic arms.

Anderson has also invented a variety of unique instruments for her performances, including a violin that uses a bow strung with magnetic tape.

Bebe Barron, left, was a pioneer of electroacoustic music. Along with her husband Louis Barron, she created the pioneering electronic score for the film Forbidden Planet.

Forbidden Planet is recognized by many as the first electronic film soundtrack.

In the soundtrack liner notes, the Barrons explained their cybernetic approach to the soundtrack:

We design and construct electronic circuits which function electronically in a manner remarkably similar to the way that lower life-forms function psychologically.

In scoring Forbidden Planet – as in all of our work – we created individual cybernetics circuits for particular themes and leit motifs, rather than using standard sound generators. Each circuit has a characteristic activity pattern as well as a “voice”.

Later in life, Barron served on the board of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS)

Suzanne Ciani is best known now for her successful career in the world of new age instrumental music.

Earlier in her career, though, she worked with Don Buchla, and Ciani went on to help pioneer commercial electronic music.

In 1974 she formed her own company, Ciani/Musica. Using a Buchla modular synthesizer and other classic electronic music gear, Ciani created music and “sound logos” for the likes of Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, AT&T and General Electric.

Here’s Ciani explaining electronic music for kids, on 3-2-1 Contact:

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