A Life in Waves

A Life in Waves ★★★★

Even if you don’t know the name Suzanne Ciani, you’ve almost certainly heard her work. Ciani worked with synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla at the start of her career, and in the ’70s and ’80s she brought the synthesizer into the spotlight by scoring countless iconic advertising campaigns. A Life in Waves follows Ciani in the present day as she looks back on her amazing career and finds herself surprised by a new generation of enthusiastic fans. Director Brett Whitcomb’s previous feature documentaries include The Rock-A-Fire Explosion and GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and A Life in Waves sits comfortably alongside them as a thoughtful portrait of a fascinating subject. Like Tyler Hubby’s Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present last year, much of the pleasure of watching this film comes from simply spending time with Ciani and listening to her thoughtful musings on life, her art, and her career. If it feels a little too short, it’s probably mostly because she’s so fun to hang out with and listen to.

Part of my coverage of the 2017 Boston Underground Film Festival for Daily Grindhouse.

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