Entertainment

Suzanne Ciani to receive Moog Innovation Award

Suzanne Ciani, seen here with the Buchla modular synthesizer, will perform Saturday, May 20, during Moogfest 2017.
Suzanne Ciani, seen here with the Buchla modular synthesizer, will perform Saturday, May 20, during Moogfest 2017. Submitted

Suzanne Ciani, a pioneer in electronic music, will receive the 2017 Moog Innovation Award during the festival, which begins Thursday, May 18.

The award, according to a festival announcement, recognizes Ciani’s 45 plus years of work that exemplifies the bold, innovative spirit of Bob Moog. Past recipients include artists like Gary Numan, Devo, Brian Eno, Bernie Worrell, and Thomas Dolby, and synth designers like Herb Deutsch.

Ciani, the first woman to receive the award, superseded many of her male contemporaries as a synthesist, sound designer, and composer. Well known as an early protege and long-time devotee of Don Buchla, and a friend of Bob Moog, her use of synthesizers created entirely new sounds. She is a five-time Grammy nominated composer and the first woman to score a Hollywood film. Her work has been featured in countless commercials, video games, and feature films.

She met Buchla while studying for a master’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley, and at Moogfest will be playing the Buchla 200e synthesizer at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20, in The Armory, 220 Foster St. The Buchla is a modular synthesizer, which does not have a keyboard. The composer makes sounds with dials and other devices, creating electronic music in a way that Buchla envisioned it, Ciani said in a recent Herald-Sun interview.

Moogfest also will screen “A Life in Waves,” a documentary about Ciani, at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, in Cinema 1 at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.

Ciani’s four-hour durational performance at Moogfest 2016 modulated between a rolling quadraphonic soundscape, stories about her early days working in New York, and tips for operating rare Buchla synths while spatializing audio.

For more information on moogfest, visit www.moogfest.com.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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