She's not only a great underground and melodic DJ and producer, Liz Cirelli is also an excellent teacher. Her speciality: letting dance/music producers shine. A new 6-month online course starts this coming Thursday. Time for a chat.
I wanted to create a format that is easy to use and apply, so that time spent with me is fortifying, empowering and useful in tangible terms.
After I ran my interview with John Digweed a couple of weeks ago, I got sent quite some tracks from enthusiastic dance producers. They asked me if I would listen to their stuff and if it was good enough, to pass it on to the DJ maestro. I listened to all of them en although I really wanted to help, there was not a single production or for that matter: a produced single that was worth it to mail to John. Some were not well produced, some were dull and some had not a tight beat. While there are so many great tracks on the dance-market. it's really hard to come up with a production that's got 'it'.
Around the same period, as if it had to happen, I got in touch with an Italian born British producer, musician, DJ and sound wizard by the name of Liz Cirelli. And boy, did I love her tracks and mixes! But on top of that she has something great to offer for all those producers out there, who have the talent, but not the skills (yet) to come up with tracks to kill for. And what a timing! In four days time on May the 14th and through her Cirelli School of Music she will be launching a 6-month music production course, delivered in weekly, live 30-minute classes.
Interesting enough to have a chat with her!
Why did you come up with the idea for this course? Not a lot of producers do this. Some do a workshop sponsored by Technics or another brand. But that’s about it. This is quite different to say the least!
Honestly, I love helping people. I'm driven by a deep love for how music is conceived, created, and produced - and also by a passion for guiding fellow musicians. The one thing I lacked when I was a young and developing music artist was a good mentor - I made a lot of mistakes along the way! Now though, I am fortunate to have mentors around me to manifest my goals and dreams - and I've been blessed to mentor others. I know how defeating or tiring committing to one's passion can be, and I also believe in paying it forward and encouraging as many others as I can. It intuitively felt right to bundle all of these gifts together and build what is now The Cirelli School of Music.
What makes you a good teacher?
My commitment for students to have a fulfilling and unique experience when I am teaching, my attention to detail - and my warm-hearted nature, which leaves everyone feeling included regardless of skill level. I also have a natural ability and skill for teaching and inspiring others, which makes my classes fun. And I'm very humble at the same time...:-)
What makes a dance track special in your opinion?
The emotional reaction it evokes - and the subsequent journey it takes you on. Hands in the air and teary eyes equal a special track! I'm a very melody-driven person and the one thing I love about electronic music is the infinite palette of sounds we have available at our fingertips. When I hear a beautiful, melodic, catchy hook and imaginative use of sounds, enveloped inside an intelligent arrangement and grounded by a solid groove and warm bassline, my soul sings. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and life feels wonderful.
What skills do you need to become a producer?
In my opinion, it's a good ear and a connection to the art form of music. I know they're not exactly skills, but if these qualities exist in a person right at the beginning, it provides a solid foundation upon which to build more technical skills. I've also found that humility goes a long way when you are an artist. Again, not a skill, but from my experience, an important quality. The way I see it, I've been given a gift: the ability to make music, so for me, that means I am here to serve the music, not the other way around. With that in mind, I believe it to be important to have at least some understanding of music theory if you wish to make music. If you can understand how melody and harmony work, it naturally enables you to create emotionally evocative music. Sure there are plugins available now that can build melodies and harmonies for you, but to understand the art form you are wishing to create, that is an important skill. It's also empowering to know how to create these things yourself.
Your own production work consists of a lot of layers. But with room between the different elements. It breathes. Does this sound familiar to you? Or is this just a lot of rubbish?
Haha! Not at all rubbish! It sounds very familiar - and it's exactly what I love creating. It's also the music I'm most drawn to. I love layers that weave in and out of each other, melodies that you can sing along to - and lots of lovely other stuff in between :)
What do you want to accomplish with this course?
I wanted to create a format that is easy to use and apply, so that time spent with me is fortifying, empowering and useful in tangible terms. It's an inclusive environment for music creatives and enthusiasts alike. A welcoming space for people who want to learn more about music production or simply to refine their studio skills. The course covers topics such as how to program a beat, understanding chords, arranging, working with vocals, how to write great melody lines and mixing / mastering with confidence. We'll cover all the ground to get people set up to create music. In addition to this, we'll examine the basic tenets of what it takes to establish a career within the music business.
For information and details on the course please visit The Cirelli School Of Music
Here Liz explains what the production course is all about: