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Baker's Dozen

Soul Soothers: Suzanne Ciani's Favourite LPs
Jude Rogers , May 31st, 2017 08:02

Ahead of her appearance at the environmentally sustainable electronic music festival Terraforma, Suzanne Ciani talks Jude Rogers through her favourite 13 albums, from Roxy Music to Pavarotti via Terry Riley and Eva Cassidy, Carole King and Penderecki


Krzysztof Penderecki - Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima
This burst in as something totally new. I would listen to it a lot in my Berkeley days with my student friends. We'd get stoned and really get into it. I did a lot of deep listening when I was younger – listening to records again and again, which I don't really do now. I don't think many people do now, and that's a shame.

Again, this has an electronic sensibility – the orchestra is doing something new: creating sound, rather than creating music, being unleashed from its constraints, the music being really intrusive. It stabs you, wakes you up. I read somewhere once that the title came later, that Penderecki hadn't written this music with the event in mind initially, but rather he had an emotional concept behind it. Whatever way, Hiroshima wasn't a normal emotional experience, and this music didn't create a normal emotional experience.

I experimented with drugs a little back then, but only took LSD a few times as it was pretty repetitive – and I had two recurring themes in my trips, one being about birth, and the other being about nuclear war. In the nuclear war one, it was like I could smell it and taste it and feel it – everything was ashes, so I stopped that pretty quickly. It's funny how you don't think of things like that for years. In recent times, though, I'm thinking of it again. That's how things are in America now.