Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

(Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Cows Will Eat the Weeds (2012), 4.5/10 (mini)
Useful Trees (2012), 5/10 (mini)
Tides (2014), 4.5/10
Euclid (2015), 5/10 (mini)
Ears (2016), 6/10
The Kid (2017), 6/10

Los Angeles composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith debuted with the mini-albums Cows Will Eat the Weeds (2012) and Useful Trees (2012), each containing seven Brian Eno-esque vignettes for guitar, piano and synth that straddle the borders between new-age music, minimalism, ambient music and mellow fusion-jazz. The gem is Alder that weds Enya and gamelan.

Tides (2014) contains ten movements of a one-hour composition for natural sounds and delicate slowly-mutating electroacoustic textures. Neither the 15-minute looping Tides I nor the nine-minute droning Tides VIII nor even the seven-minute Tides V offer sound that justifies their duration. Tides X is equally inept but at least the blend of accordion and chimes over an organ drone yields a germ of an idea. This is amateurish music for people who never listened to 40 years of electronic music.

The new seven-song mini-album Euclid (Western Vinyl, 2015) contains equally embarrassing exotic-tinged percussive dances, of which Careen and Stunts have the highest pop value (at least they are not as goofy as the "Brazilian" Sundry). Labyrinth is a twelve-part composition that is difficult to appreciate because it is difficult to listen to such childish music from beginning to end. IV is the best imitation of Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air. At least VIII mocks baroque music and reveals a sense of humor.

Ears (2016) contains seven medium-length "songs" and one juggernaut. The swampy atmosphere a` la Jon Hassell of Wetlands finally shows a bit of inspiration, the first time since Alder; and When I Try I'm Full shows awareness of what Meredith Monk has been doing for 40 years with the female voice. After so many attempts, Smith finally crafts a somewhat memorable moment when jungle percussions and Gato Barbieri-esque jazz collide in Rare Things Grow. But First Flight is a trivial imitation of Oneohtrix Point Never until the vocals enter and then it becomes a trivial Enya -esque lullaby. The eleven-minute Existence In The Unfurling is three stereotypes in one: first a decrepit synth-pop tune, then a nebula of ambient electronica, and finally a fluttering minimalist movement a` la Steve Reich.

The Kid (Western Vinyl, 2017) contains 13 pieces, generally longer pieces than on previous releases. The composition is not as inept as in the past but now the problem is that Smith wants to sing. An Intention is definitely a song, not just an instrumental piece with some vocals floating around. The exotic overtones of To Follow & Lead fully blossom in the festive Until I Remember, her first successful song. But the vocals ruin the percussive game A Kid and the minimalist patterns of I Will Make Room For You, and, while they don't completely derail the savage tempest of In The World, they certainly tame it. The vocals mingle better with the arrangements in In The World But Not Of The World, if nothing else because the dense sound buries them. The instrumental novelty Who I Am & Why I Am Where I Am seems to be a leftover from a previous era. The multi-layered clockwork of I Am Learning hits the dancefloor and is probably a hint about her future direction.

(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami