field report no.091416

SUBJECT: Suzanne Ciani

You know a show is buzz-worthy when it sells out Roulette. The venue is appealingly large for it's avant garde mission. Suzanne Ciani has earned her hype: she is an early buchla synth pioneer, and this was her first NYC performance in decades. Some recent archival releases have reconnected her with an analog synth revival spilling over into the mainstream (check out her new, cross-generational duo record with wunderkind Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith). Of course, the shear number of kids now coaxing musical squiggles out of boxes and cables puts Ciani's music in a much more more powerful microscope. Synths swells and arpeggiator pulses haven't sounded alien for some time now.

By looking at it, the buchla synthesizer is an unruly beast; neither simple nor intuitive. The audience was given a unique window into it's inner workings through a camera, mounted on a chest harness, projecting her perspective on a screen above, in real-time. It's a simple concept that gives us a chance to see her tinkering as skillful instead of mysterious. With decades of experience with this peculiar instrument, she's readily shows a musical flair, and not just a display of technique. 

NOTES: Suzanne Cianni; E. Indigo / Antenes