Human Interest

Illitchi Kari Studio: Education through Music

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Music is so entrenched in our everyday lives we often hear it without realising; commercials on the radio during our commute to work, the playlists on our cell phones, and even while we wait to be connected to a company’s customer service department. Music can stir up every emotion imaginable in film and television audiences. I recently commissioned a piece of original music for the trailer of The Case of The Curious Client, my book that won Fresh Lifestyle’s book award in April 2017. Yet, the power of music extends beyond the superficial. It has the ability to enlighten and empower those who listen to it and create it. Someone who knows this concept well is Illitchi Kari Studio, the creator of my trailer’s original music and founder of a music education group. I caught up with him to discuss this and much more.

 

Q: What is the Illitchi Kari Studio?

My private home audio/video studio that I work out of most days of the week. Oh, who am I kidding, I even sleep there at least two to three times a week as well! I’ve found that being in the environment of creation is the first step towards inspiration. Truth be told though, the place ranges from marginally presentable, to a downright disaster, depending on which renovation project I’m currently procrastinating on, or how deep into a compositional rabbit hole I’ve managed to fall down!

 

Q: Why ‘Illitchi Kari’?

Illitchi Kari is Yaqui, Native American, for “Little House.” My heritage is that of the Yaqui on my mother’s side, and the most visibly present at a glance. The name is reflective of the small house that I have lived in for the past 5 years, which is actually smaller than the trailer I spent most of my youth calling home. Funnily enough, the studio is in my late father’s old autobody shop, and is larger than the house as well!

 

 

Q: How did Illitchi Kari Studio come into existence?

I became disabled, unable to work a regular consistent job, around 2011 due to untreated bi-polar disorder and inflammatory bowel disease. I am absolutely loathed to sit around all day feeling unaccomplished, so I began the ongoing and lethargic process of renovating my garage into a full-fledged recording and production studio. The hope is to be able to fully support myself through a variety of audio and video related endeavors eventually. In the current era of art, what with the various platforms used today, you really have to become a polymath in order to get a toe in edgewise. The big picture is to have a career built up slowly that I’ll be able to work in until the day I die. I love music, so why would I ever want to stop making it and retire? 

 

Q: The Illitchi Kari Studio hosts a music education group on Facebook, tell me about that.

Illitchi Kari Music Education is a bit of a pet project that I plan to refocus on during the winter months when I’m stuck home snow bound. Being that I live in northern lower Michigan, the roads are sometimes ridiculous to drive on even when you have a decent winter vehicle, which I don’t. I also hate driving in general. The idea though, is a layman’s approach to learning as you go music theory. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite found the format that’s most effective just yet, but I’ve also been inundated with side projects and life’s little distractions this spring and summer.

 

Originally when I attended University, I had pursued a degree in Music education. This was starting back in 2007, just as the American economy was beginning to collapse and music programs were being cut left and right from education systems. This is sort of my way of continuing to chase the dream of passing on my love for music, and all things sound really, as I’ve expanded my pallet to encompass the recording and production aspects of the music field since then.

 

Q: How accessible is music to young people today, in your opinion?

Honestly the avenues and different methods of music creation have never been more accessible with the rise of digital technology. I’m old enough that my first foray into recording was an old Fostex 4-track tape recorder, which now hangs on my office wall as a decoration. Fast forward to today, and you can record, produce, and release an entire albums worth of music from an iPad. It’s really rather exciting how limitless the possibilities of creation have become, but also, I can see how it can be daunting to start anything when you have so many options at your disposal.

 

That said, music education seems to be at an almost all time low. This is both good and bad. People are being forced to forge their own paths musically without the rigidness of a classical education, but for the average listener, they are, in my not so humble opinion, having the wool pulled over their eyes as to what “good” and “well-written” music is. The four chord song is a prime example of this. Axis of Awesome did an amazing YouTube medley video of a very large handful of chart toppers, that all utilize the same four chord progression, if albeit in different keys.

 

Q: One definition of education is “an enlightening experience”. The Illitchi Kari Studio offers music composition services to its clients and has created an original score for the trailer for my book, The Case of The Curious Client. How important, and powerful, do you think music is as a tool to help your clients “enlighten” their audience to their brand, creative concept, or even their struggles?

This is my favorite musical experiment. Go a week without music. Anytime you hear music, turn whatever is making it off, and leave it that way. Advertising, any TV or feature length production, video games, even the ringtone on your cell phone, all utilize musical audio. Music is integral to our everyday lives so deeply that it’s become blasé in its consumption and use. Can you imagine a time when people would go weeks, months, sometimes even years!! Without hearing an entire song that wasn’t poorly sung a cappella? It blows my mind!

 

Music is seriously surrounding us from the time we wake, to the time we hit the pillow, and for some people, even while we sleep!

 

Q: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a musician/composer?

Learn from everything you hear. Birds singing, trains rolling down tracks, water falling from a roof top. Not just the radio, but music is all around in nature. Don’t be afraid of music theory either! Learn the rules, and then break them. Its art, we’re all just thieves with stolen ideas whose owners we can’t even recall. Also, don’t shy away from writing bad music. I write probably ten bad riffs or compositions for every one that I think is decent. The kick of it, to someone who’s never experienced it before, a song, or any piece of art for that matter, it may well seem to be the most earth shattering thing they’ve ever experienced. Lastly, not everyone will “get it” when it comes to your art. That doesn’t matter. What matters, is finding the people that do “get it.” Those are your people, and the only ones who really matter in the long run. People will find a million reasons not to like something, but it only takes one reason to fall in love with anything.

 

How to connect with the Illitchi Kari Studio:

 

www.illitchikaristudio.com

twitch.tv/illitchikaristudio

facebook.com/illitchikaristudio

instagram.com/illitchikaristudio

YouTube channel

 

T.G. Campbell is a British Crime Fiction Author living just outside of London, England. Her debut novel, The Case of The Curious Client, won the Fresh Lifestyle Magazine Book Award in April 2017. A month later she was honoured to accept the opportunity to become a monthly columnist. Her novels follow a fictional group of amateur detectives operating in 1896 London called the Bow Street Society. She undertakes extensive research and study of the British Victorian Era to ensure accuracy in her work; study/research which includes visits to museums, attending Victorian Era-themed events, and a whole lot of reading. It’s her passions for history, true crime, and British Victorian culture which she wants to share with Fresh Lifestyle Magazine readers. All her works may be found on Amazon and more can be found at www.bowstreetsociety.com  

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