Liz Cirelli is brilliant in her skills of music production, Djing and is also an avid Music Gateway user. With her unique blend of classical and electronic music, we were able to discuss with Liz about her previous success with Music Gateway, her thoughts on the site and her advice/tips on how a producer can effectively bring a track to life when working on different music genres.
#1 Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My background lies within the classical arts – I trained as a professional ballet dancer and classical musician from a very early age until 18 years old when a chance encounter introduced me to the world of electronic music. Entranced, I decided to hang up my pointe shoes and immerse myself in the world of music! My musical journey began as a singer / songwriter, then progressed on to DJing and eventually to learning the art of music production.
For a while, I focussed on writing classical music and dance music. I’ve always been fascinated with the fusion of classical and electronic – and whilst my dance music productions certainly contain elements of my passion for classical music, I tended to keep the 2 genres pretty separate in terms of the music I wrote as a solo artist. Now I’m finding myself venturing further into the realm of electronic / classical fusion with my solo work – taking all the bits I love from both worlds, adding some vocals – and creating a melodic, beautiful yet dark blend that’s designed more for listening than dancing.
For a few years I’ve also been in a duo with an excellent violinist – Minski Revolver – and together we like to take the experimental fusion of classical and electronic music a step further, blending classical violin with electronic beats and sounds. It’s always great fun working with him in the studio – it really pushes my creative boundaries and encourages me to think outside the box in terms of how I approach making a track – which is always a great thing!
Together with another great friend of mine, I’m also planning on forming a new live act – we’ll probably start working on it next spring. Our vision is to create a fully immersive experience, using music, visual and other sensory stimuli.
In addition to music, another of my passions is yoga. I used to be a yoga teacher, making music in my free time. Then last autumn I realised my heart was calling me to put all my energy into music. I’m now doing music full time, whilst making sure I get my daily dose of yoga in too!
#2 How’re you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?
It’s been a great way for me to network and make contact with people and companies I wouldn’t have previously had access to – or known about. The amount of pitching opportunities is incredibly abundant – and with quite a large back catalogue of music that spans a few different genres, I’m finding I’m able to pitch on projects almost everyday. It’s an amazing platform for getting your foot in the door – and I feel it guarantees that people will listen to your submissions as you’re pitching to a very specific brief, to people who are actively looking. It’s a much more efficient way of working than sending out emails to labels / publishers etc and trying to get them to take notice of your music – and it’s a great way of getting involved in exciting projects you may not think of seeking out.
#3 You wear many hats in the music industry and have had a long career in different genres of music which is great. In your opinion what is one way a producer can effectively bring a track to life when working on different music genres?
Practice! I remember reading that it takes 10,000 hours to master a craft. The more you practice making music, the better you get at it – it takes time and patience – and a tonne of dedication! I also find that honing my collection of vst’s down to just a few really good ones – and really learning how to use them – make life in the studio much more streamlined and effective. Listening to lots of different genres of music, dissecting them – and re-creating their sound and rhythm in your studio, with your own personal twist, is also a great way of getting under the bonnet of producing music in different genres – it really encourages your brain to get into the nuts and bolts of production!
#4 Your past clients include major international brands such as Nokia, Sky TV and L’Oreal. What advice would you give to people who want to pitch their music to sync opportunities effectively in the industry and on the Music Gateway platform?
I think the most invaluable advice I received when I first started working with major brands was to be professional. It sounds obvious, but this covers not only the standard of your music – but also your work ethic. The music you make has to sound good to people who do not have a musical training – yes, you might know how to do really cool tricks with your vst’s and plugins, but…
Does it sound good to the person who will be listening to the track?
Does it move them? Does it compete with tracks of the same genre that you’re hearing on ads, on the radio, in TV shows, in films?
Your work has to be of a really high standard. It also really helps if you are able to listen to your track with a critical ear – and maintain a level of non-attachment to your work – so that you can make any changes necessary without feeling like you’re destroying your work of art! Having a positive ‘can-do’ attitude is a must – it helps if you’re a nice person to do deal with! Experience has also taught me that it’s essential to know the nature of the business…understand the basics of contracts and terminology so you don’t feel out of your depth when the business dial gets turned up.
#5 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections? Have you’ve had any previous success on the platform?
One major advantage is that the projects come to you! Everyday I receive a clear email with a list of projects suited to my skill set…this saves me a lot of time hunting for projects, or constantly emailing my existing connections – so it’s allowing me to expand my connections quickly and effectively! Yes, I’ve been commissioned to work on a few remixes which has been great – thank you! 🙂
#6 You’ve done quite a few projects, are any of the results being released any time soon for people to check out?
Yes, there’s a remix that was released on the 5th August in fact! It was a remix of a track called Bold Ego Fledgling by The Inconsistent Jukebox – and will be released by Supersonic Media. You can check it out here and you can check out my Soundcloud page here
#7 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career?
I guess it’s to make sure you either have a pretty substantial amount of really well-produced tracks in your back catalogue. It’s important that you still own the rights to the music (or that you are able to get permission to use if they are already signed. Also, make sure you can pitch on projects, or that you have plenty of time to work on briefs on-spec that might be relevant to you as they come in. Most importantly, be sure that your music and your music-making skills are of a competitive and high standard – that’s the golden ticket to success – making great music!
#8 What was your goal when you first joined the site, has that goal been met?
My goal when I first joined the site was to generate a good income from music. Slowly but surely that goal is being met, but at the moment it’s being met through my connections outside the site. What I’ve realised is that I really have to up the ante in the studio – and make better music (hence my insistence that the only way to guarantee success is to write music that can compete with what is circulating within the commercial spheres). So it’s head down, lots of hours in the studio, perfecting my art so that it can stand out on the pitching table!