Finders Keepers have managed to dig out an entirely unheard and unreleased Suzanne Ciani piece from 1969: what glory days these are. Flowers Of Evil is inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s famed work of the same name, though he didn’t have a Buchla synthesizers to work with, and Ciani does. Great to be able to hear this piece at last, fifty years on.
Vinyl LP £18.99 FKR099LP
LP on Finders Keepers.
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What was in the water in the late 60s? How is it that two of the decade's electronic music pioneers released albums with the same name inspired by the same section of the same Charles Baudelaire poem? Do you expect me to believe this is a coincidence? Do you Ruth White and Suzanne Ciani?
Conspiracy theories aside we're here to talk about the later of the two, Suzanne Ciani's 1969 take on Flowers of Evil. Her’s opens with a beautifully oscillating synth melody that grows and changes at Ciani's whims. Occasionally there’s a little knock of bass but mostly Ciani is playing in the midrange. The melody becomes tiny and small and bold and expansive. To begin with it’s accompanied by someone reading what I assume is the Baudelaire poem in French. The vocals are treated as well, mostly by reverb, and become one with the synthesiser. Eventually the reading stops and we're left to enjoy over ten minutes of Ciani at her best. There are signs of the new age musicians she would become by 1982’s Seven Waves in the shining tones of the synths. In their ability to gently lull and ease.
'Flowers of Evil' is joined by three other tracks which are markedly different from it. 'Glass Houses' is chaotic where 'Flowers' was calm. It never settles, and has Ciani much more willing to create and destroy space. The last two, the two parted 'Token Spokes', are unsettling low-end drones that seem to feature samples of breath. Together they’re uneasy but captivating.
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