Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith recently finished up a week-long tour that saw her travel across the country for a handful of shows. We asked to put together this diary showing what went on while she was on the road.
Art is awe, art is mystery expressed, Art is somatic, even if it is experienced cerebrally. It is felt. The central mysteries of Let’s Turn it Into Sound have to do with perception, expression, and communication: How can we communicate when spoken language is inadequate? How do we understand what it is we’re feeling? How do we translate our experience of the world into something that someone else can understand? On the album, the answers are inspired by compound words in non-English Languages, translation, sculptural fashion, dance, butoh, wushu shaolin, and other forms of sensory and somatic experience. Just like fashion uses lines, shapes, colors, textures, and silhouettes to communicate on a sensual level separate from the conscious mind, Let’s Turn it Into Sound strives to use sound to communicate what words alone cannot.The album is a puzzle. It is a symbol of receiving a compound of a ton of feelings from going out into a situation, and the song titles are instructions to break apart the feelings and understand them.
When creating the live show I knew there was going to be an entity with me on stage. The vocal processing that I created for the album felt like I had extensions beyond me. The visuals are intended to line up perfectly with the sounds to give the audience the feeling of sound personification which was the inspiration for this album. The visuals were made by Sean Hellfritsch. They were created with a Rokoko motion capture suit that I wore. Here is a glimpse of the tour, which spanned six dates and included visits to venues like Elsewhere in Brooklyn and Lincoln Hall in Chicago, along with some background looks at my life on the road. Hope you enjoy 🙂
Los Angeles Pre Tour Packing
The outfits for this tour were on loan from a designer named Windowsen.
Oakland Hotel Pre Show Prep
Couldn’t resist trying to wear these shoes for everything I did haha
This live set takes a lot of mental focus for me to perform – which is why I check my focus capabilities for the day by balancing. 🙂
Oakland Starline Social Club
Felt great to revisit the Bay Area again. I used to live in the Bay Area.
The primary sound of the live set is my voice & the Buchla music easel.
“These shoes! I loved wearing these shoes by Windowsen for each show!”
Chicago – Lincoln Hall
“I control the timing of the visuals with my instruments via midi.
The main instruments of my live set are a Buchla music easel, Oberheim Sem & my voice.”
I love performing with blacklights so aspects of what I am wearing can glow and blend in with the visuals.
Loved this venue! The sound and projector at this venue were soooo spot on!
Portland Doug Fir Lounge
The visuals accompany the entire set and help demonstrate the album’s narrative.
“Before I play I usually take about 5 – 10 minutes wiring up, checking the sync and tuning of all the instruments. I like to wear a headset mic so I can use both of my hands to play the instruments.”
New York Hotel
All of my gear together weighs about 150 pounds so I usually need to do a lot of back stretching to counterbalance carrying all of it around.
Seattle Pre Show Prep Airbnb
Before I perform I always do handstands. I do them until I hold at least 1 minute freestanding. A minimum of 1 minute freestanding handstand shows me I am in the right mindset to play the show. It shows me that I am in my flow state for focusing. If i am out of balance I usually can only hold it for 30 seconds to 45 seconds and then I do an elimination meditation to get myself back in a focus state. I continuously ask myself the question, “what do I need to understand to be able to be more present in the moment right now? “ For me, confusion is what takes me out of a flow state.
Seattle – Neumos
I usually practice my live sets for a minimum of a year in advance so I have it in muscle memory and perform from a different place than thinking about what I need to do next.
Right now the visuals for the entire live show are only able to be seen at the shows.
Which feels really special to share them with people for the first time.
Los Angeles – Teragram Ballroom
This was the final show of the tour. Thank you to everyone who came out to the shows! So grateful to play music for you!
Outfit for the L.A. & Portland Show.
I was given extra blacklights by the venue in Seattle – which I used on my legs to make the legs stand out & the shoes glow.
These shoes took me awhile to learn how to walk in them – I love the way they naturally make people walk, a bit awkward. 🙂
I have always loved personifying sound and the visuals really help bring out the sound personalities in a way that feels like a conversation gets to happen with the audience.
I always imagine before every show that I am a pilot and that it is my responsibility to safely deliver passengers to their destination. It helps me step into a sound caretaker role. I really really care about the listening experience and want listeners to feel like they have a pilot they can trust. Such a dorky analogy haha.