The documentary on Suzanne Ciani reached it’s kickstarter fundraising goal. This is great news, Ciani was one of the earliest adopters of modular synthesizers. She is also one of the most prolific synthesists in the film industry ever. In addition to being a composer, her ability to sound design is in fact legendary. She is most associated with her beautiful compositions using an early Buchla modular synthesizer system. Like Laurie Spiegel, she worked closely at one point with Max Matthews.
The one depressing thing that does not get mentioned with the fundraiser, is there were likely more women involved with the music technology and modular synthesizer community back when Ciani started then there are today. The community was much smaller back then, but there were a number of high profile women composing and recording with synthesizers between the 1960s-1980s. There actually seems to be fewer women playing modular synthesizers, even though they are more widely available. While people like a Ciani who laid the groundwork for modern synthesists, in some ways it feels like things have not improved much in terms of women’s involvement.
My hope is this documentary further raises the profile of the early women synthesists, and maybe encourages a few to pick up a patch cord.
The kickstarter is still open and you can still provide some extra bit of funding here: Suzanne Ciani: A Life in Waves