Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Sounds Like: A shroom-fueled trip through Avatar's bioluminescent rainforest
For Fans of: Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, the Knife
Why You Should Pay Attention: Aurelia Smith makes electronic music utilizing the rare, modular Buchla Music Easel synthesizer, expertly wedding its blipping arpeggios to her processed voice. A former acoustic guitarist from the isolated Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, Smith made "cinematic folk" with touches of Segovia, Ravel and Debussy before going electronic. Smith's classical acumen remains intact on Ears, a wholly immersive, mesmeric listen. She's made fans ranging from comedian Reggie Watts to Buchla pioneer Suzanne Ciani and is on tour with Battles and Animal Collective this spring.
She Says: "I was helping my neighbor on the Orcas Islands set up his home studio and he asked me about my influences. When I mentioned Terry Riley, he got excited and showed me some old Buchla synthesizers that he had. He leant me one for a year and I started exploring it and incorporating it into my music. Slowly, every piece started to lose the guitar and got more electronic. There's a really beautiful fine line between controlling it and letting it be out of control. That's stimulating for my mind. It puts me in a very present mindset and flow state. I'm just trying to keep it on the edge between chaos and order. Ears was conceived as a journey for the listener through a futuristic jungle."
Hear for Yourself: "Arthropoda" has the beauty of a children's choir in an alien bog. Andy Beta