Watch Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith bring her modular orchestra to life

Watch Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith bring her modular orchestra to life

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Originally published on FACT.

The electronic composer opens up her LA home for an intimate performance.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has become one of the most fascinating champions of modular synthesis in recent memory — but she didn’t start out that way.

Raised on Orcas Island in northwest Washington state and classically trained in guitar and piano, Smith spent a curiosity-fueled year teaching herself synthesis after a serendipitous encounter with the Buchla Music Easel, an instrument that’s come to define her as much as she has defined it.

Her explorations in synthesis reach an apex on her stunning new album EARS, out April 1 on Western Vinyl, blending woodwind and her own vocals with the primordial sounds of the Buchla to make her most definitive statement yet.

After recently relocating to Los Angeles, Smith invited FACT to her home studio where she showed us the different synthesizer voices used to create her modular symphonies before churning them together in a spontaneous improvisation.

The intimate home performance serves as a taster for her show on April 1 at Rewire Festival in the Hague, Netherlands, where she’ll play the city’s Lutheran Church with Chris Watson and Kara-Lis Coverdale + MFO.