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The Velocity of Love

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Album Review

Suzanne Ciani's landmark 1984 release Velocity of Love established the noted electronic composer in the U.S. and became one of instrumental/new age radio's early success stories. Together with Vangelis, who contributed keyboards to "Lay Down Beside Me," "Malibuzios," and "History of My Heart," Ciani created a formless, diaphanous record that nevertheless seemed guided by real emotion. There were the subtle pop melodies that flitted about beneath the synthesized surface, certainly. But it was difficult not to hear the album's influential title track and miss the wave of wistful sadness that curled around its brittle melody. It was a deceptively simple piano line that suggested the theme music of some unknown 1970s character drama, the kind where autumn leaves constantly blow through open curtains for effect. At the same time, the song's pulsating bank of synthesizers united its classic qualities with the futuristic tendencies and two-dimensional rayon sheen of the 1980s. While some of its later compositions were a bit overwrought, teetering under the weight of their own keyboard wizardry, Velocity of Love is still essential for any fan of Ciani or the formative days of contemporary instrumental music.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Suzanne Ciani was one of the first and finest woman artists to make a name for herself in the world of electronic music. Ciani earned a master's degree in composition from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with electronic pioneers Max Mathews, John Chowning, and Don Buchla. In 1975 she moved to New York, where she became involved in the Soho art scene, and also worked with minimalist Philip Glass. She began to hit the big time with the establishment of Ciani Musica, Inc.,...
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The Velocity of Love, Suzanne Ciani
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