Returning to her childhood home of the Orcas Island, after finishing studying composition and sound engineering at college, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith was introduced to the Buchla 100 after a neighbour kindly lent her one. Becoming enthralled with the machine, Kaitlyn spent hours exploring the possibilities of making music with the synthesizer.

Since then she has released several solo albums as well as a collaborative album with Synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani. Her latest album The Kid (released on 6th October via Western Vinyl) narrates the journey from birth to death using inspiration from four different cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan.

We spoke about working with Suzanne Ciani, her art residency at The National Music Center in Calgary and her new album The Kid.

How has your European tour been going?

It's been going great. Each time I tour I learn more and more about what I need to do to nourish myself. So this tour I've made it so that in between shows I have 3 or 4 days where I can go and find some natural wonder. I feel really lucky because not every tour can be like that but this one has. So far I've been to Norway and seen the Fjords, I was also near Bled in Slovenia and that's somewhere I've always wanted to go.

What does your live show look like at the moment? Are you incorporating some of the tracks from your upcoming album The Kid?

This is the last tour where I'm playing 'EARS'. Right now it's kind of a hybrid where it's all of 'EARS' and visuals and then three songs from the new album. I'm going to take September to get all the nuts and bolts ready for the new album and then the next time I come back it'll be completely the new album.

You've got a tour in the States October/November?

Yeah, that'll be the new album.

I saw some photos from your Art Residency at National Music Center in Calgary, how was that?

It was so dreamy, I've been trying to go there for the last six years and they don't really do residences that often there. I guess they're figuring out a new format for it. The best part of it was that I didn't realize they had such an unusual collection of harpsichords and small pipe organs and so I spent most of my time sending midi to pipe organs.

The music you made there will be released?

Yeah it'll definitely be released.

How was it working with Suzanne Ciani?

Yeah, I love her. She's such an inspiration and she's just such a wonderful person, who's full of joy. She's just a legend and such an inspiration to so many composers, whether it's pianists or synthesists or orchestral composers. She's also one of the first female film composers.

What did you learn from working with her?

So many things, I mean it's really hard because I spent so much time with her. We were neighbours and friends and we would interact with each other for more than a year, so I learnt so many things from her.

Can you tell me about the idea behind your new album The Kid?

It's a journey from birth to death it's about four stages of life through my interpretation of it. It's all about remembering and forgetting your kid energy.

There's also an academic side to it that is inspired by this book New Musical Resources. The book is basically and I feel bad saying it - it's kind of a boring book but it has really interesting concepts in it. It's all about how our hearing as a culture has evolved.

It takes you from octaves to going up overtone series and how any time a new interval was introduced to our culture as a whole people would freak out and go 'I don't like that'. Now we've become exceptive of atonal and microtone music. It brought out a lot of curiosity in me about what's next and how we are going to evolve. I got curious about being able to hear two conversations at once or split our hearing and I wanted to play with that sonically by having the left and right side pulling from each other; sound wise, texture wise and rhythm wise.

Were you basing the kid on your own childhood or are they a fictional character?

It's not really a character it's more just my interpretation of the different philosophies I've studied. It's a curiosity I've always had finding out how different people experience getting older. Bolinas is a really interesting place because I feel as people get older there, they get younger and so I'm constantly asking people what youth means to them. There are a lot of people I'll interact with that'll be younger than me but it'll appear as if they're older than me and sometimes I'll feel like I'm older than people who are older than me. I feel like it has to do with following the things you enjoy, stress, our environment and how much time you spend in the car.

How much research did you put into the ideas behind the album?

The album took two years to make, all of this stuff I've been interested in my whole life so it's hard to say how long exactly I was researching that subject matter but I would say I guess two years. Whenever I create I usually pull from inspiration in my life.