Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani announce Sunergy, a joint album for RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani announce Sunergy, a joint album for RVNG Intl.'s FRKWYS series
Photo: Sean Hellfritsch

The thirteenth installment of the FRKWYS series has been announced, featuring California-based synth explorers Suzanne Ciani and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The new album, Sunergy, will showcase the Italian American ambient legend and the upcoming West Coaster playing their beloved Buchla synths, a modular unit invented in the 1960s by Don Buchla at the request of Morton Subotnick. Ciani and Smith not only share their passion for the rare Buchla synths, but reflect a common interest in nature through their quietly meditative music, something also evident in Sunergy.

Running since 2009 and conceived as a pairing of intergenerational kindred spirits, RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series has already brought together the likes of Ariel Kalma and Robert A. A. Lowe, Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras and the Congos, Steve Gunn and Mike Cooper, among many others. In the case of Ciani and Smith, the creative proximity was pretty literal too, with the two musicians living in Bolinas, California. Both have also had an eventful 2016 so far, with Smith releasing her LP Ears to considerable acclaim and Ciani’s 1975 Buchla Concerts finally being reissued. Best known as the godmother of new age music — which fits albeit downplaying Ciani’s role as an all-around synthesis innovator — the unearthing of her 1975 performances has brought a much-deserved attention to the Italian American’s work. Her collaboration with Kaytlin Aurelia Smith could not come at a better time.

Sunergy was recorded in Ciani’s Bolinas home, with Smith and herself improvising while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A perfect location for someone whose most revered work includes an album called Seven Waves, released by Ciani in 1982, or who was raised in the San Juan Islands like Smith. True to its source of inspiration Sunergy is filled with expansive waveforms, ocean sounds, alien growls, pulses recalling swarms of insects, and echoes that could actually be the residue of a steady gallop, all unfurling into the infinity.

Sunergy is out September 16, via RVNG Intl. Check out the track “Closed Circuit” below, followed by the tracklist.

Sunergy tracklisting:

01. A New Day
02. Closed Circuit

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