“Electronic music was a wide open space with sounds nobody had ever heard before. My mission was to introduce these instruments as formable instruments,” says Suzanne Ciani in the trailer for the documentary A Life in Waves. Premiered earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival, it follows the path of “America’s first female synth hero,” an electronic pioneer that played a significant role introducing synth sounds into the mainstream during the ’70s and ’80s. Leading the audience through her formative years to learning from modular synth trailblazer Don Buchla and landing lucrative advertising commissions, the biopic takes a detailed look into Ciani’s exploits, taking up the torch for women in electronic music that was passed on by the likes of Pauline Oliveros and Delia Derbyshire.
The biopic has been touring North America, but now comes to London for a special screening on September 22nd as part of the ongoing collaboration between Commune and the House of Vans. Partnering up with East London-based collective London Modular Alliance, Commune will also run a modular workshop, offering beginners and experts alike free tuition or just the chance to get lost amongst a tangle of wires.
A Life In Waves screens at the House of Vans on September 22nd – RSVP for the screening and learn more here.