Ciani, Suzanne : Buchla Concerts 1975
Buchla Concerts 1975
- Finders Keepers
- Release year
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New 2017 repress. The lost synth manifesto that could have changed the course of electronic music history by the first lady of modular synth history, Suzanne Ciani. Buchla Concerts 1975 is an archival project that not only redefines musical history but boasts genuine claim to such overused buzzwords as pioneering, maverick, experimental, groundbreaking, and esoteric, while questioning social politics and the evolution of music technology as we’ve come to understand it. To describe this record as a game-changer is an understatement. This record represents a musical revolution, a scientific benchmark, and a trophy in the cabinet of counterculture creativity. This record is a triumphant yardstick in the synthesizer space race and the untold story of the first woman on the proverbial moon. While pondering the early accolades of this record it’s daunting to learn that this record was in fact not a record at all . . . it was a manifesto and a gateway to a new world that somehow never quite opened. In 1975, Suzanne Ciani was a 29-year-old employee of the Buchla modular synthesizer company, San Francisco’s neck-and-neck contender with New York’s Moog. If the unfamiliar, modernistic, melodic pulses, tones, and harmonics found on this 1975 live presentation/grant application/educational demonstration had been placed in a phonographic context, they would have provided nothing short of an entirely different, feminine take on the experimental records of Morton Subotnick and proved to a small, judgmental audience and jury the true versatility of one of the most radical and idiosyncratic musical instruments of the 20th century. In denouncing her own precocious, polymathematic past in a bid to persuade the world to sing from a new hymn sheet, Suzanne Ciani created a byproduct of never-before-heard music that would render the pigeonholes “ambient” and “futuristic” utterly inadequate. These recordings have not been heard since then. Needless to say, this record, finally commanding the archival format of choice, was not the last “first” that this hugely important composer would gift to society and the future, in a wide range of exciting, evolving creative disciplines in the worlds of synth design, advertising, and film composition. You have found a holy grail of electronic music and a female musical pioneer who was too proactive to take the trophies. You can’t write history when you are too busy making it. With fresh ink in the bottomless well, let’s start at the beginning. Again. You are invited.