A composer with multiple Grammy nominations is set to receive belated recognition for her early Seventies work as an electronic music pioneer – thanks to the UK crate-digging label Finders Keepers. The keyboardist Suzanne Ciani was introduced to early synthesisers in the late sixties by designer Don Buchla, whose eponymous telephone exchange-style contraption defined Ciani's early sound.
Based in New York, she immersed herself in Philip Glass's experimental art scene, while earning money introducing the mainstream to unfamiliar sounds. Ciani provided sound effects for the original version of The Stepford Wives and Meco's disco version of the Star Wars theme. There were idents for the likes of Coca-Cola and Atari, before she became the first solo female composer of a major Hollywood release, The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
Ciani built up a huge archive of ground-breaking work that has remained untapped until Finders Keepers's boss, Andy Votel, suggested they work together on introducing her to younger listeners. Lixiviation (named after a collaboration with sculptor Ronald Mallory) has transported Ciani back to an exciting time. "The Sixties was a time of social freedom and breaking rules. It was the moment when art and technology met and one inspired the other," she says.
Suzanne Ciani's 'Lixiviation' is out now