Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Novi_sad at the 2017 Gray Area Festival
On Friday night of the 2017 Gray Area Festival, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Novi_sad join us for an evening of auditory painting and sculptural soundscapes. Novi_sad will start the evening by transforming the Grand into one of his infamous, conceptually rigorous sonic environments. Smith's mastery of the Buchla 100 Series Synthesizer and synesthetic creative process will follow, closing our first full day of the Gray Area Festival! Opening this show will be David Last. Last year’s album “Meow Wolf’s Arcade Soundtracks” was a smirking reference to neon-splashed electro-funk aesthetics, and a collaboration with his partner Chelsea Faith Dolan (aka Cherushii), who was lost in the Ghost Ship fire in December. The Gray Area Festival will mark his first performance of this material.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s formative years were spent communing with nature on Orcas Island in the northwest region of Washington state, a place she describes as “one of the most magical and peaceful places I have ever been.” Though she wouldn’t begin experimenting with modular synthesis until many years later, her creative work continues to be infused with and inspired by the vitality and serenity of Orcas. Smith left the island to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied composition and sound engineering, initially focusing on her voice as her primary instrument, before switching to classical guitar and piano. She employed many of the skills she refined in college in her indie-folk band Ever Isles, but a fateful encounter with a neighbour who lent her a Buchla 100 synthesizer, had a profound effect on her. Mesmerized by the Buchla’s potential, she explains “I got so distracted and enamoured with the process of making sounds with it that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album.” Starting with rhythmic patterns and melodic pulses, she soon began sculpting lush and exciting worlds of sound.
Novi_sad is the guise for Thanasis Kaproulias (b. 1980) who holds a degree from the Economic University of Piraues. He lives and works in Athens, Greece. Influenced by the pioneers of audio assault, he began generating sounds in 2005. No studies, no academic education, no scholarships, just pure learning by doing. Amplified environmental recordings, drone manipulations, structured ambient soundscapes, microtones vs overtones, all come together in a hyper structure of iconoclastic form. Novi_sad’s artistic output displays a high level of technical ability, as well as a sensitivity to the nuances of location. The strength of his soundscapes works in the same elaborateness for the whole creation process, starting from a basis of very strong conceptualism, the intense examination of field recordings over the actual composition work, to the point of performing back the result onto location. Every sound that occurs is treated with a sculptural integrity and his sonic power operates on a level in which the audience participates as transcendental listeners. Novi_sad’s projects have been presented in various forms in cinemas, industrial spaces, theatres, churches, museums, auditoriums, squats, in festivals like Venice Biennale Film Festival [Venice], MUTEK [Montreal/Mexico City], Ultrahang [Budapest], Observatori [Valencia], Gaudeamus Music Week [Amsterdam], Elektra [Montreal], Eletronika [Belo Horizonte], Suoni per il popolo [Montreal], Transient [Paris] and in such spaces as: Roy O. Disney Concert Hall, CalArts [Los Angeles], VPRO National Radio [Amsterdam], Cabaret Voltaire [Zurich], Itaú Cultural [São Paulo], Museum of Contemporary Art [Roskilde], Megaron/The Athens Concert Hall [Athens], The Chapel [Seattle], Diapason Gallery [New York], KW/Institute for Contemporary Art [Berlin], The Lowry [Salford Quays], Le Fresnoy/Studio National D'Arts Contemporains [Tourcoing], National Academy of Music [Aarhus], Einstein Kulturzentrum, [Munich], MAM/Museum of Modern Art [Rio de Janeiro]. Novi_sad has worked and collaborated with: Lars von Trier, Helge Sten [Deathprod, Supersilent], Francisco López, Mika Vainio [Pan Sonic], Ryoichi Kurokawa, BJ Nilsen, Daniel Menche, Richard Chartier, CM von Hausswolff, Jacob Kirkegaard, Beckie Foon [A Silver Mt. Zion, Set fire to flames], Scott Konzelmann, Irini Kyriakidou, Karl Lemieux, Konstantina Kontzamani, Isaac Niemand and Yorgos Zois. Thanasis Kaproulias is the General + Artistic director of Hertz Festival
David Last is a sound and visual artist living in San Francisco. Over the last 18 years his work has appeared in a variety of contexts including albums & singles, art installation, film & television soundtracks, animation and handmade books. Last year’s album “Meow Wolf’s Arcade Soundtracks” was a smirking reference to neon-splashed electro-funk aesthetics, and a collaboration with his partner Chelsea Faith Dolan (aka Cherushii), who was lost in the Ghost Ship fire in December. This year, Last has spent his time in the studio they'd shared, creating emotionally charged psychedelic compositions which tend toward rich texture and constantly-shifting harmonic tones. The Gray Area Festival will mark his first performance of this material.