Suzanne Ciani

Voices Of Packaged Souls

Dead Cert
LP£14.99Out of stock


For this new archival vinyl series the inquisitive minds behind Pre-Cert Home Entertainment and Finders Keepers Records combine to bring you the results of some of their most sub aqueous vinyl, tape and film excavations yet. Dead-Cert Pressings takes the combined obsessions of all its collaborators and applies an intensive research model to the annals of vintage outsider music, sound sculpture, spoken word, ethnological documents, art-trash, early computer music, neotantrik music, tape manipulation, non-pop and vinyl voyeurism. Investigating and re-contextualising previously unheard recordings from sources that transcend and eclipse the limitations of the record collecting trend and the commercial music industry, Dead Cert aims to elasticise the phonographic medium and present truly unblinkered lost experimental noise from the non-commercial sidelines of production music, musique concrete, film musik, hard-bop, Letterism, volk music, surrealism etc. while defying the constraints of definition, faddism and inverted post-modernism. All scheduled recordings are pressed on vinyl LPs mastered in accordance with the original creators’ instructions then cut at the most relevant volume and playing speed. Duplicated in modest quantities and housed in a variety of bespoke or economic packaging priced accordingly.

Dead-Cert Pressings’ first archival disc is an extended pressing of an original vinyl run of around 50 discs made in 1970 for an art gallery exhibition in Brussels documenting a sound sculpture collaboration between hard material artist Harold Paris and fledgling electronic composer Susan (Suzanne) Ciani. This original limited gift/art artifact is officially the rarest tangible recording of Ciani’s music – who is now recognised in the press as “The Delia Derbyshire Of The Atari Generation” on account of her groundbreaking developments in the commercial evolution of synthesizer music as one of a small number of female composers in the field.

Voices Of Packaged Souls is a limited edition LP produced by Ciani in collaboration with Paris for his exhibition at the Galerie Withofs in Brussels, Belgium, June 1970. Paris created an original Mylar cover for the album, which is now an almost impossible to find collectors item.

Harold Paris was an important figure in Suzanne’s early days. His warehouse studio in the industrial waterfront area of Oakland was next door to Don Buchla’s studio and it was Harold who first introduced Suzanne to the electronic instrument designer whose innovative instrument would direct her musical and professional path for the next two decades.

The sounds on this early LP were culled in part from Ciani’s early experimental work at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, where she had studied with Max Matthews (the father of computer music) and John Chowning (the father of “frequency modulation” – where sounds were created by designing functional interactions amongst software modules and then using punched cards to program the output, which became audible only the next day!). Ciani also used sounds developed on the Buchla analog synthesizer, an open-architecture modular system, controlled via patchcords, knobs, switches and a touch plate. Voltage-controlled panning and reverb created spatial movement as well. And finally, there are musique concrete sounds – real sounds modified and mixed into the whole.

Inspired by the development of the musical computer, voltage-controlled analog synthesizer and musique concrete, Ciani found a new expression and strength in the power of these new instruments and her ability to interpret feelings and objects with her own new language of sound.

Ciani produced this, her first album, at radio station KPFA in Berkeley, CA, where she was given access to the tape machines from midnight until 6am gratis. She owns only one copy of this work in its original vinyl form.


  1. First Voice: Sound Of Hair Bleeding
  2. Second Voice: Sound Of Heat
  3. Third Voice: Sound Of Cold
  4. Fourth Voice: Sound Of Wetness
  5. Fifth Voice: Sound Of A Finger Burning
  6. Sixth Voice: Sound Of A Flower Falling
  7. Seventh Voice: Sound Of An Eye Tearing
  8. Eighth Voice: Sound Of Bones Growing
  9. Ninth Voice: Sound Of A Nose Peeling
  10. Tenth Voice: Sound Of A Lighted Window
  11. Eleventh Voice: Sound Of An Old Man Loving
  12. Twelth Voice: Sound Of Love Turning
  13. Thirteenth Voice: Sound Of A Dream Kissing And All Dreams Are Not For Sale