Q&A: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

We chatted with the Buchla synth master about her upcoming IMAX performance for Bristol New Music and her new label, Touchtheplants.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s latest album, The Kid, is a kaleidoscopic new chapter for the Buchla master, her most rhythmic and unpredictable release to date.  And while it’s being described in many reviews as “pop-leaning,” don’t be mistaken; The Kid is pretty out-there stuff.  Smith is set to debut new visuals for the album this Sunday at Bristol New Music, on a massive IMAX screen no less.  She was kind enough to share a few words with us about her new project Touchtheplants, and collaborating with her husband Sean Hellfritsch on the new visual live show.


Slow Breathing Circuit: What made Sean Hellfritsch the ideal artist to bring The Kid to life visually?

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: We met in 2008 in San Francisco – in 2013 we got married! Sean and I share a deep admiration for nature and music, and we’ve shared many “monumental awe” moments in nature together.

-Was there much of a back-and-forth between the two of you during his process, or did you just let him listen to the album and do his thing?

Sean has an incredible visual perspective on the world, and I trust it completely.  He perfectly matched each organic growth spurt in the life-to-death cycle found in nature that I was trying to represent in the album’s instrumental portions.

-You’re debuting the new visual show in the IMAX cinema at the Bristol Aquarium. Is this the one chance to see this audio/visual combination? Or are there plans for it being taken on tour? 

This is the one chance to see it in an IMAX theater, but this show is what I am touring for the album.

-Could you tell us a little bit about Touchtheplants, and what to expect from it beyond the general record label duties?

It is intended for artists of all mediums that share the intention of encouragement of the heart. It will share music, poetry, meditation, books, dance, film, comics.  I’m open to all ideas and formats that are rooted in that intention.

We personally look forward to catching Kaitlyn’s performance at Moogfest next month.  While there’s no way to see Hellfritsch’s visuals online just yet, you can check out the first Touchtheplants release below, a 22-minute track by Smith called “Abstractions,” set to animations by the late Harry Everett Smith.

Bristol New Music will also feature artists like Elysia Crampton, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, , and Ulrich Mertin. Check out the full lineup here and buy tickets here.

-header photo by Tim Saccenti

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