SUZANNE CIANI

* Your musical inspirations?  

My musical inspirations are the classics -- the music I grew up with.  But I also am inspired by the energy of contemporary music.  I love the compositional architecture one finds in the music of Mozart, Bach, Chopin and a long list of other great composers and also the emotional intensity of of what is said in this music.  Not all classical music is the same, of course. Some of it speaks straight to the heart as well as to the cerebral cortex.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

My favorite CD's are the Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations, the first recording. Also, Avalon by Roxy Music.  And I am also a fan of Dire Straits.

* How has music inspired you?

Music is a beautiful place to be--as a composer, I can create just the world I want, the beauty that I imagine.  And I love the way music triggers memories and lost feelings.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music has been the consistent backbone of my life.  Many people have come and gone and times have been good and difficult.  I can always count on music to be a friend, a comfort and a joy.

Suzanne Ciani is a composer, recording artist, and pioneer in the field of electronic music and sound design. She is best loved for her eleven albums of original music which feature her performances in a broad array of expressions: pure electronic, solo piano, piano with orchestra, and piano with jazz ensemble. Her music, reknowned for its romantic, healing, and aesthetic qualities, has found a rapidly growing international audience, and her performances include numerous benefits for humanitarian causes.
 
Currently Ciani resides in Northern California where, in 1995, she established her own record label, Seventh Wave. Ciani felt the need to own and control her own creative work. "In many ways, this label represents the culmination of the long journey of my evolution as a recording artist," says Ciani.
 
In the eighties and early nineties, in order to finance her recording projects, Ciani brought her expertise to Madison Avenue. Her New York-based commercial production company, Ciani-Musica, Inc., was the leader in the field of sound design and TV spot scoring, creating award-winning music for a host of high profile Fortune 500 clients, including Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, and General Electric. Additionally, Ciani has scored the Lily Tomlin feature 'The Incredible Shrinking Woman', and 'Mother Teresa', as well as scoring for the TV daytime serial 'One Life to Live'.
 
In the early nineties Ciani re-located to northern California to concentrate on her artistic career from her sea-side studio. She has toured throughout the United States, Italy, Spain, and Asia. Her many recognitions include five Grammy nominations for Best New Age Album, an Indie nomination for Best New Age Album, numerous Clios, a Golden Globe, and Keyboard Magazineās "New Age Keyboardist of the Year."

Ciani is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a Masters in Music Composition from the University of California at Berkeley.

Getting Started

The "Diva of the Diode," Suzanne taught herself how to play piano, inspired by Bach and the composers of the Romantic era. She received her classical music training at Wellesley College, in Massachusettes, and then headed for the University of California at Berkeley for her master's degree in music composition and a fortuitous meeting with a synthesizer pioneer.

Berkeley School of Music

While in Berkeley, Suzanne fell under the spell of the synthesizer designer Don Buchla and set her course for electronic music. She says, "His designs for instruments were extraordinary. He brought the thought process of designing musical instruments right down to the origin of physical human nature and music. There is nobody like him."

New York, T.V., and More

In 1974 Suzanne moved back to New York and started her own production company, Ciani/Musica, where she electrified the commercial music scene with her unique sound design for television advertising and arcade games. Her vocal processing, using a series of devices she dubbed "the voice box," became a trademark sound.

The Artist Emerges

While she was in demand by the Fortune 500, her artistic self-expression soon drove Suzanne to eclipse her production company with her solo recording work. Her 1982 debut release, Seven Waves, became a hit first in Japan. Her second album, The Velocity of Love, connected quickly with the New Age radio stations that had begun to appear in the U.S.

Building The Recording Catalog

Getting out of the frantic New York lifestyle was difficult, but when Suzanne discovered she had breast cancer she realized that she must get healthy and devote her time exclusively to her own music. She moved back to the West Coast and began writing and recording. Her output has been prolific ever since.

The Home Studio

At home in Bolinas, California, Suzanne found the tranquility and inspiration to hone her reputation as a technologically self-sufficient New Age artist. With the merging of her home and studio, her life fell into complete harmony.
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Suzanne began her life with music at the age of seven when her mother brought home a collection of classical albums from a neighborhood fire sale. Suzanne was immediately entranced by the melodies of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. As the third of six children in a busy suburban household near Boston, Suzanne found her own space by teaching herself to play the piano and to read music.

As an undergraduate at Wellseley College, Suzanne began dividing her time between performance and composition. She also began her fascination with technology when one of her classes took a field trip to nearby M.I.T., where a professor demonstrated his early attempts to make a computer produce the sound of a violin. Upon graduation, she went to the University of California at Berkeley to continue her studies in composition. She received her Masters Degree in composition there, but more importantly, at nearby Stanford University and Mills College, she met three of the founders of electronic music: John Chowning, Max Matthews and Don Buchla.

Suzanne became entranced with the ability to produce music with a machine, and she became a devotee of synthesizers for the next two decades. She has often joked that for at least ten years she was essentially married to her Buchla synth, and in fact she did leave the massive machine running for months at a time, programming it to compose and play endless compositions. For Suzanne, this was the essence and importance of the synthesizer - it could do things no other instrument in history could do! It could work sub and super sonically; it could hold a note for days; it could play with perfect pitch in a perfect sine wave. Using dials, knobs and patch cords, Suzanne engaged in an elegant dance with her synthesizer to produce her ground breaking electronic albums, while always remaining true to her classically inspired sense of melody.

Suzanne believe that the synth should follow its own course as an instrument, but her position ultimately lost out to those who wanted simple machines that duplicated the sounds of other instruments and had preset voices. As this change in the world of electronic music and instruments came about, Suzanne found herself returning to classical instrumentation in support of her melodies, culminating in her Grammy-nominated album for piano and orchestra, Dream Suite. This same sensibility is evident in Pianissimo II as well.
www.sevwave.com/
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SALLY TAYLOR

* Your musical inspirations?

Well, do I even have to say it?  My mum and me dad. I've always really liked brazilian jazz and the good ol american blues.  But of course I was really a pop junkie as a kid.  Duran Duran was my first concert and I really loved singing along with the harmonies of Crowded House.  But high school was dedicated to the folk music of the 60s and 70s, CSN, Cat Stevens, Dukes of the stratospheer, and Dylan etc.  I guess you could say I'm a musical mut.

* Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

God!  What a question Well, The CDs I played down to the thread: JT: Dad loves his work, Flag, One man dog, Mudslide Slim. Carly Simon: Boys in the trees, Hotcakes, Anticipation, Playing Possum.  To my ear, the best songs are the ones I can harmonize to: CSN De Ja Vous, All of Traffic but especially Low Spark and Traffic, Aimee Mann; Bachelor #1. Ben Taylor (ALL). Chymande, Bill Whithers!!! Grooveasaurus, Crowded House.

* How has music inspired you?

I can't think of anything it hasn't inspired but the most unexpected
way it's inspired me is to delve deep into the study of physics and string
theory in particular.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

It seems as though my entire life has been projected against a musical soundtrack.  My bed time stories had soundtracks and my dreams always have me waking up with a different melody in my head so it's hard to say that music has helped me though a specific time.  Its just always been there.  Its helped me through both the good and the bad.

For anyone less determined, Sally Taylor's career path might seem daunting if not impossible.  She's 27, self-managed, and an independent artist by choice. She's built her entire record company, "Blue Elbow Music" from the ground up.  She writes all of her own songs.  She plays between 150-175 shows a year traveling in a van full of guys,  instruments and greasy bags full of fast food, and somehow she still manages to answer fan's e-mails, write daily accounts of life on the road (up on her web site at  SallyTaylor.com,) and send out mail order CD's to fans and colleagues.  One might think that's enough for any one person but this year Sally's decided to self-produce her latest and third CD, Shotgun.

If you ask her about Shotgun Sally will say: "It's just a demo really."  Before telling you she's more proud of it than anything else she's done in her life.  The reason why Shotgun is "Just a demo" is because Sally's intends to get her fans involved in the production side of her music.  On both her web site and on an insert inside each Shotgun CD is a letter to fans urging them to vote on her latest batch of songs for reproduction on her next CD, it reads:


Friends!!! I invite you to become part of my music.  Please cast your vote on each song of this demo recording (and if you feel so inclined, you may also offer production suggestions which, if original and authentic, and ones that we end up using on the next record we'll thank you in the liner notes.)  The top 3-6 voted for songs will be reproduced (by a new producer), re-recorded and placed on the next album along with a slew of other new tunes.  Let your voice be heard! Become part of the process! Vote!

Key: 1. Love it !!! 2. Take it or leave it 3. Bag it !!!

Sally has always valued her friend's opinions and musical advice.  Starting in the spring of '98 she made a rough mix tape of all of her latest songs, lit some candles, de-corked some red wine and invited all of her closest friends in Boulder to her house for a listening party.  She made up ballots and asked everyone to vote. It has been through such listening parties that Sally has chosen the songs that have made it onto her first two albums Tomboy Bride & Apt #6S.  This time around, everyone's invited to the party.

Sally's gearing up for another rigorous summer/fall tour with her three-piece band comprised of drums, bass, and guitar and a sound engineer/driver/road manager.  This will be the third summer season the band has toured together.  But Sally's no new comer to the music scene.  Besides being the daughter of two legendary musicians, Carly Simon & James Taylor (with whom she plans to tour this summer 2001), she's been playing in bands since her sophomore year in high school when she and some class mates formed a band called "The Slip," and started playing rock & roll cover tunes at opposing school's proms and parties.  Since then, she's been in over 15 bands, had songs in movies (Anywhere but Here and Me Myself & Irene) and played with such bands as: Evan & Jaron, John Wilcox and Art Garfunkel.  She's sung The National Anthem and done concerts at both LA Lakers (basketball), and Colorado Avalanche (hockey) games and had Donald Fagan & Walter Becker of Steely Dan as well as Maceo Parker, work on her first two albums.   Sally taught herself how to play guitar at 21 while she was attending Brown University for her BA in Medical Anthropology but she'd already been writing songs since she was 15, about which she describes:
 
"These songs just started coming to me in my sleep when I was 15.  I didn't know how to play an instrument yet and so I'd just keep this mini-recorder next to my bed.  I'd wake at any odd hour of the night, [with] some song harassing me, to hum some horse crackley lyrics into a little mic before falling back into dreaming, forgetting I'd ever woken up in the first place and always curious in the morning what ghosts had possessed me to paint such songs, sometimes almost finished before I'd opened my eyes.    It was as if these stories were coming to me, asking me to be brave enough to open my heart to them and speak their truth through my eyes.  I've always been clear that it's the stories that hunt me, shoot me down like birds in the sky and make me their tellers, not the other way around.  Sometimes it can be painful.  Sometimes very disorienting.  Sometimes I yearn for it though, the way floating longs to fly. Sometimes it grows me stronger and stronger until I feel my life all at once, all over me.  And then….. It's amazing."

About the touring experience Sally says:

"I'm so lucky to be blessed with these guys (the band) and with these audiences that keep on showing up and staying and pushing us to go farther and farther. They remind me again and again that this stuff, this music stuff, it isn't about candy coating art with glitter to feed to ones ego. It's about sharing time and space and giving it up to the audience, those friends you've never met but have always known because you see yourself in them. It's about letting go of the ownership of your art and your fear and your heart because giving love is the only thing that makes complete sense."
www.sallytaylor.com
CD ordering information page

KAYLE

* Your musical inspirations?

First of all, I would have to say my musical inspiration would have to be Sarah Mclachlan. She comes from the same place I do, Halifax Nova Scotia. And all of the hard work she has put in has paid off. Her songs are true and real to her life's experience. I absolutely adore her vocal ability and the fact that she is truly humble and doesn't think twice about giving back.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

The next question is a hard one because I am a music lover in general. All types and styles. Currently everytime I hear the Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dog song I just want to get up and dance!! In my cd player I currently have Avril, the Trews, Ashanti, Green Day, and Celine Dion.. I told you I had a wide variety!!

* How has music inspired you?

My music has been my outlet.. I have been able to chanel all sorts of my emotions into my songs. They are all parts of who I am and experiences I have been through. I feel that I can relate to alot of people from all walks of life. My music, like my music preference is not one style or type. My album has a little bit of everything.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music has definitely been my own self healing in ways.. I had a very difficult time in my life where things seemed like it couldn't get any worse and I found writing about it very cleansing. Tell Me Why and Who's Makin Who Cry are very powerful songs for me. They come from a very deep and painful memory of mine. But the healing it has given me has been unmeasurable.

Tell Me Why is the full length album from Vancouver singer-songwriter and Knotty Music recording artist Kayle. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Kayle's story is one of survival. Tell Me Why is the story of an artist whose soul has escaped intact, rescued from a tragic life and world of hurt by the power of her music; a narrative account about rising above all the odds with a triumphant and cathartic work of art.

After working with Troy Samson (HipJoint) 6 years ago, Kayle's 2000 hit 'A Little Sumthin' Sumthin'' was an instant success leading to her nomination at the Canadian Radio Music Awards in 2000 for Best New Pop Vocalist. Record Magazine year-end stats for 1999 ranked Kayle 25th of 50 in the Canadian All Formats Chart.

As luck would have it, Cory Robbins of Robbins Entertainment/BMG New York heard the song while he was online (Z95.3 FM Vancouver broadcast the hit over the internet) and signed Kayle to an international major recording deal from this listening. This marked one of the first major signings in history from the internet.

Kayle went on to tour across Canada with such acclaimed acts as Love Inc., McMaster and James, Eiffel 65, Aaron Carter, B44, Rickey J, and 3 Deep (For whom she recorded the song 'What Can I Say,' written by Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys), playing some shows to over 35,000 people in the process and racking up an impressive list of press and television appearances along the way.

Fast Forward to 2005 and Kayle is still reeling from the success of her recent single 'Gimme Sumthin' Real.' Receiving a hit pick in Canadian Music Network Magazine before its release, the single is now playing on over 32 stations nation-wide while still climbing the charts. The remixes are exploding in the clubs, reaching #12 on the top 20 in the DJ pool "Musicab Heatseakers Download Chart" in only two weeks joining the likes of artists such as Nelly, Duran Duran, The Chemical Brothers, Gwen Stefani and Ja Rule.

The title track, 'Tell Me Why,' will be the much anticipated 2nd single and is being released to radio in January. 'Tell Me Why' will be supported by a video which will be serviced to all major music video broadcasters. The Album is distributed in Canada by Maple Nationwide / Universal. A full national tour will coincide with the February 22 release of the her album.

Kayle is destined to be a hit! - Billboard Magazine
www.kaylemusic.com/

DAVE MATTACKS

photo by Tom Dube

* Your musical inspirations?

IN MY EARLY DAYS, IT WAS DAVE BRUBECK, THE SHADOWS ... THERE'S BEEN HUNDREDS OF ARTISTS THAT HAVE MOVED ME SINCE THEN, MANY OF THEM THE POPULAR ONES WE WERE ALL INSPIRED BY  ... THESE DAYS, BILL EVANS, VAUGHAN WILLIAMS & THE BLUE NILE ARE AMONG THOSE THAT CONTINUE TO INSPIRE ME ...

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

APART FROM THE ONES MENTIONED ABOVE, RY COODER, SHELLY MANNE, KEITH RICHARDS,JOE LOVANO, BRAD MEHLDAU, THOMAS STANKO, JOHN WILLIAMS, JONI MITCHELL, WAYNE SHORTER, DUKE ELLINGTON, MARIA SCHNEIDER AND RICHARD THOMPSON ARE JUST A FEW OF MY FAVOURITES ...
 
* How has music inspired you?
* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

GOOD MUSIC & MUSICIANS INSPIRE & HELP ME THROUGH GOOD & NOT SO GOOD TIMES!

Dave Mattacks' ("DM") professional career started in the UK with big bands before joining the influential folk-rock group "Fairport Convention", freelancing extensively throughout his tenure with the band. In March 2000, Dave left the UK and moved to Boston, MA where he continues to enjoy a full career in Music, spanning live and studio work, both as a Musician and Producer.

DM's discography includes 5 CD's with Paul McCartney and various CD's / tours with - among many others - Elton John, George Harrison , Jimmy Page, Everything But The Girl, Mary Chapin Carpenter , Richard Thompson , XTC , Jethro Tull , Joan Armatrading , Brian Eno , George Martin, Susan Tedeschi , Nick Drake and Loudon Wainwright.

DM's early career began as an Apprentice Piano Tuner then he worked at London's "Drum City" Music Shop under Johnnie Richardson. His first professional engagement was with a provincial "Mecca" Big Band which spanned a 3 year period; it included residencies in Belfast, Glasgow and London. During this time, he played with a variety of Jazz groups throughout the UK which provided the foundation for his continuing affection for the artform.It was in Autumn of '69, DM joined "Fairport Convention": recording seven LP's with the group (including "Liege & Lief" ) and extensively touring the UK, US, Europe, Antipodes and Japan. He left Fairport in '74 to focus on his freelance career (See "Recording Credits" / "Film work"/ "Tours" etc., ) but re-joined in late '85.DM successfully combined "Fairport's" schedule with his freelance commitments for 12 years, however, left finally in March of '98 and moved to the US in early 2000
.
www.dmattacks.co.uk 

PLUNJA

* How has music inspired you?

well quite obviously its music that has inspired me to play and write. I've always been a devoted music listener, and as music was so important to me, taking the step of having a music career seemed like the right thing to do. And listening to all your favourite bands makes you aspire to be as good as them and try to reach their level.

* Your musical inspirations?

Well it all started with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, when I was 8, but I've also been inspired a lot by my parents music collection; Beatles, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zepplin etc. And since then I've been into Incubus, Korn, Jeff Buckley, Queens of the Stone Age, Smashing Pumpkins... you get the idea. Its generally always been about the ROCK!

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

I love Jeff Buckleys Grace, its a perfect album and never fails to affect me. Smashing Pumpkins Meloncholly and the Infinite Sadness is also a cd I've listened to repeatedly. And basically most of the bands I wrote above. Ya, see above.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Of course. Music effects your mood. When you feel like shit theres nothing like chucking on your favourite cd to help you through your mood. And of course going to my drumkit and bashing it senseless always has a remedial effect.

* Discuss the creative or songwriting process--

Whenever I write songs, I find that I never sit down with the intention of doing it. I might be in the shower or in bed and I get an idea for a cool line or melody and I'll grab and instrument (guitar or piano) and try to interpret whats in my head, even though I'm a drummer. Its mostly just that one thought you have that forms my songs and then the rest just appears around it.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person--

I think its mostly to do with the way in which a person listening can relate to what they believe the songs meaning to be. It can really help an isolated person to feel that maybe they're not the only retard in the world. I think peoples deep seeded need for human connection is what makes songs so powerful. It can lift you up and it can also if you choose bring you down.

Steph/Plunja

Signed to roadrunner records and having opened for sold out stadium shows for Nickelback and Seven dust all around the country, brother and sister combo Marc (vox & guitar) and Steph Collis (drums & vox) along with Ben Jarvis on Guitar and Baz on the bass are a heavy rock act that are second to none. This will be the bands last gig before they fly to sydney to record their debut album with producer Phil Mckellar (grinspoon, spiderbait & silverchair) due out this year. One of the best live bands in the country, Plunja are sure to to leave you breathless.  They're currently in the studio working on their debut album due out soon.
www.plunja.com

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 2003-2005