In 2008 director Brett Whitcomb and writer Bradford Thomason collaborated on the quirky documentary The Rock-afire Explosion, mostly out of pure nostalgia. The story of the mechanical Showbiz Pizza band is also a reflection of an era when 80s kids spent most of their time in arcades, watching movies for $3 and riding bikes in the neighborhood. For Whitcomb and Thomason, that nostalgia continues with their latest film A Life in Waves.
They found the woman who practically made the soundtrack to the 80s, and her name is Suzanne Ciani. Ciani was classically trained, but her path veered towards the experimental. She fell hard for soundboards and synthesizers. But Ciani struggled as an artist, because her music wasn’t accepted (and also she was a woman in a male dominated industry). Fortunately, she had her big break in advertising.
A Life in Waves is a nice tribute to a woman who needed to be rediscovered. Thanks to her contributions, electronic music is a serious art form.
Music reporter Aurora DeWilde interviewed Whitcomb and Thomason at the Oak Cliff Film Festival.
For more information about Ciani, the film and distribution, check out the A Life in Waves official site.