A Life in Waves

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USA | 2016 | 75 minutes | Brett Whitcomb

Explore the life of electronic-music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, a woman in a traditionally male-dominated art form who transformed the genre with her modular compositions, developed a multimillion-dollar advertising venture, and became an icon of New Age music.

Monday, May 29, 2017

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Lincoln Square

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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Ark Lodge Cinemas

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“Traditional instruments always have a limit to what sounds they can make, but electronic instruments have an unlimited palette,” says Suzanne Ciani, a Grammy Award-nominated composer, electronic-music innovator, and bestselling neoclassical recording artist whose career has spanned nearly 40 years. Beginning as a classically trained pianist, in the late ’60s Suzanne became immersed in the world of modular synthesized compositions but found it difficult to break into the male-dominated electronic-music scene. Ingeniously shifting her talents, Suzanne started her own production company, providing award-winning sound designs for jingles (Atari), theme songs (“3-2-1 Contact”), special effects (Coca-Cola’s “Pop ’n’ Pour” sound), and even pinball machines―her electronic creations as well as her voice are an integral part of the iconic game Xenon. Never overlooking her passion for composition, Suzanne also began her own New Age record label, Seventh Wave, and in the past decade her earliest, pioneering electronic compositions have been rediscovered and embraced by a new generation of artists. Utilizing a wealth of archival footage, insightful conversations, and Suzanne’s endless catalog of music, filmmakers Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason (The Rock-afire Explosion) present her fascinating story, offering a feminine, philosophical glimpse into the evolution of a groundbreaking artist.

Director Biography

Brett Whitcomb is an award-winning filmmaker from Houston, TX. His credits include The Rock-afire Explosion, GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and County Fair, Texas. Most recently, Brett served as producer on Peter Berg's 10-part docu-series, QB1: Beyond the Lights.

Sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM, MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), Lux Pot Shop, Hardly Art Records

  • Director: Brett Whitcomb
  • Principal Cast: Suzanne Ciani, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Kitaro, Peter Baumann, Dorit Chrysler, Sarah Davachi, Don Buchla
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 75 minutes
  • Producer: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
  • Screenplay: Bradford Thomason
  • Cinematographers: Brett Whitcomb
  • Editors: Bradford Thomason
  • Music: Suzanne Ciani
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: County Fair, Texas (2015); GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012); The Rock-afire Explosion (2008)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP