One cannot mention Suzanne Ciani's name without following it up with the word "trailblazer." This documentary film follows Ciani as she creates a world that basically didn't exist before she came along, by taking her passion for synthesizers and transforming it into a multi-layered business, including creating award-winning commercials for Coca-Cola, Atari, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, General Electric, and more.
A Life In Waves follows Ciani's fascinating life story, from her early love affair with electronic music (before it was ever classified as such) to her recent 2016 release, Sunergy. As a bright young woman, unique in her field, Suzanne was told she was different, so that's exactly what she aimed to be. As she says in the film, "I want to do what only I can do." When her father revealed that he didn't hold high hopes for her, she only saw opportunity, saying, "[I had the] freedom to pursue music, because nothing was expected of me." She soon earned a job working with Don Buchla (creator of the famed Buchla analog modular synthesizer), who once tried to fire her for a cold soldering point. Knowing she was not at fault, she staunchly refused to be terminated and simply showed up for work the next day. Her employment with the company, as well as her mentorship and friendship with Don, went on to last for decades. Along the way, Ciani also formed her own company, Ciani/Musica, created the sound effects for Meco's disco version of the Star Wars "Title Theme" and soundtrack (Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk), made countless jingles for high-profile companies, toured the world performing her own new age music, founded a music label, Seventh Wave, and earned numerous Grammy nominations and awards.
Suzanne's passion for her life's work cannot be overstated – her whole being is infused with an inescapable love for creating, with a huge drive to make passionate and emotional music. Her unique take of wanting technology to be sensual allowed for breakthroughs in a field that few others could even imagine. She's irrevocably interwoven into pop culture – you've heard Ciani's music and sound effects, even if you think you haven't. A Life In Waves is well worth viewing and sharing with friends – a small way to pay tribute to a wildly talented woman finally getting her due.