Buchla Music Easel Jam Session

kaitlyn-aurelia-smith-1Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a live performance by synthesist Kaitlyn Smith, right, on the Buchla Music Easel.

“The video was made with a Buchla Music Easel and a custom delay I made in Ableton,” notes Smith. “The video is real time synthesis. No post production.”

Smith has released two albums that prominently feature the Buchla Music Easel:

Euclid (primarily written on a Buchla Music Easel synthesizer) was inspired by her love of mbira music, early electronic music pioneers like Laurie Spiegel, Oskar Sala, and Terry Riley, and euclidean geometry.

Each of the first six songs on Euclid were initially structured using euclidean geometry, an idea which Smith explored while attending a class at the San Francisco Conservatory. As Smith explains, “We each chose a 3D shape and assigned our own guidelines to the different components that make up the shape. For example each point of the shape represents a different time signature, each line between the points represents a pitch, each shape within the closed lines represents a scale, etc. And then you play the shape.”

Below, you can preview Sundry, from Euclid:

Tides features pieces that were designed to enhance one’s environment.

The album was made with: Buchla Music Easel, Madrona Labs Aalto, Korg Polysix & Korg Mono poly.

You can preview Tides V below:


10 thoughts on “Buchla Music Easel Jam Session

  1. Wow. That’s how you do it when you’re engaged up to the hilt, which is how it should be with a Buchla, or any modular, really. Its an excellent 3-minute lesson in much of what that type of synth is FOR. I was idly thinking “cello” throughout, because her playing has a perfect counterpoint in a cellist’s real-time intonation. She understands it as a voice and not just a source of effects or 8-step loops. Any piece that takes you on a varied mini-vacation from A to B to C like that is a success across the board. Sinister AND gorgeous. Exemplary WIN.

  2. Impressive. I always have a internal battle clicking on Buchla videos, it is just going to be more Buchla noise, don’t waste your time. But I am glad I lost the battle and played the clip this time – really nice to see someone with the skills to make some lovely sounds on any machine – sad that it is such a rare event to see, but I guess it only makes this performance all the more impressive.

  3. Nice example of what modular types are for, not just the play but the creation of the tones that are being played

  4. Awesome! Wow! It’s tempting to say “if I had a Buchla music would be that easy for me too” but it’s clear that you have to take time to get to know an instrument and make it create something you want to listen to, this is clearly an intimate relationship.

    Thanks for giving me a new YouTube channel to enjoy!

  5. Gorgeous music! Impressive in the restraint too – it’s not just kitchen-sink from the get-go. Real virtuosity on the instrument, and of course activates my G.A.S. looking at a Buchla Easel :p

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