Suzanne Ciani ’68
Electronic Music Pioneer, Composer, Recording Artist
Suzanne Ciani ’68 is an award-winning composer, recording artist and record label executive in the electronic and acoustical music industries. Her music, renowned for its romantic, healing, and aesthetic qualities, has found a worldwide audience, and her concert performances include numerous benefits for humanitarian causes. She has toured throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. Her many recognitions include five Grammy nominations for Best New Age Album; three Indie nominations and one award for Best New Age Album; and Keyboard Magazine’s “New Age Keyboardist of the Year.” She is considered one of the most innovative electronic musicians of the last 40 years.
A pioneer in her field, Ciani’s accomplishments range from being the first female to be hired to score to a major Hollywood film, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” to being one of the top sound designers in the United States. Ciani’s work as a synthesizer on the 1981 Golden Globe Award-winning Best Original Song “Fame,” as well as her work on the platinum-selling “Star Wars” disco album, earned her induction into the Keyboard Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In the fall of 2013, Ciani was inducted into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame, gaining further recognition for her sound designs for, and being the first human female voice used in, Bally’s Xenon pinball game.
In the 1980s and early 1990s Ciani’s production company Ciani-Musica was a leader in commercial scoring and electronic sound effects for numerous Fortune 500 corporations including Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, General Electric, Atari, General Motors and Columbia Pictures. She created the “pop and pour” sound heard when opening a Coca-Cola can that was featured in a commercial for Coke. Her sound composition and contributions to advertising campaigns and commercials have earned her several Clio awards—the advertising industry’s highest honor. Ciani’s ability to replicate everyday sounds enabled her to stand out from the crowd.
In the 1990s, Ciani rededicated her career to composing, recording and performing New Age genre music in venues around the world. She released several albums through major record labels before the mid-1990s when she founded her own record label, Seventh Wave. She subsequently produced more than ten albums including her 1997 Suzanne Ciani and the Wave, an Indie Award nominee; and Dream Suite, Pianissimo II and Turning, each resulting in Grammy Award nominations. Ciani was also nominated for 2 other Grammy awards for her albums Neverland and Hotel Luna. In 1986 and 2001, she produced film scores for documentaries on Mother Teresa.
Ciani graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Music and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of California at Berkeley.