Have Gig Bag, Will Travel or Where in the World is Carmen Rizzo?

hht back stage perm 1Carmen Rizzo checks his cell phone one last time as he boards the plane at LAX.  This is the first of several flights that will take him half way around the world over the next 24 hours – from Los Angeles to Perm, Russia .  He’s got a text message from the people he’ll be performing with in Perm; they want him to come back in 10 days for another show, and they need his commitment immediately.  He’s taken slightly aback – he’s not exactly sure what he’ll be doing onstage when he arrives this time – but he agrees to make the return trip, figuring that as long as he has the right assemblage of tools, he’ll be able to handle whatever situation is thrown at him.

This is typical for a road warrior like Rizzo.  The Los Angeles-based producer, DJ, record label owner, and radio show host is a rapidly-rising global brand, sought after for his wide range of skills that have earned him two GRAMMY nominations.   He’s worked with the likes of Seal, Coldplay, Paul Oakenfold, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alanis Morissette.  He’s a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).  He also DJs a radio set heard by 14 million listeners each month on the highly influential KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle.  With so many irons in the fire, he’s become extraordinarily flexible, yet fastidious in his preparation, maintaining a strict work ethic that sees him keeping regular hours in his home studio during the week and, whenever possible, not working weekends to spend time with his children.  But this last-minute request is not unusual for Rizzo.  He’ll just roll with it.

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Carmen Rizzo & Huun Huur Tu Reach Global Audiences

Electronic Musician & Record Producer, Carmen Rizzo – an avid Cakewalk softsynth user – just released a new album in collaboration with the indigenous throat-singers, Huun Huur Tu. Hailing from the Republic of Tuva (a remote area 2,500 miles east of Moscow, Russia), Huun Huur Tu’s music highlights rare native instruments and preserves what is arguably some of the world’s oldest forms of music making. The group’s unique vocals combine with Rizzo’s modern electronic production to take listeners on a lush cinematic journey.

The album is now available at all major online outlets including Amazon.com. Catch Huun Huur Tu live this fall in select cities across the US including New York, Minneapolis and Richmond, Indiana.

New Electronic Band: Lal Meri Hits Primetime TV

Carmen Rizzo’s new electronic band, Lal Meri, released their self-entitled debut album through Six Degrees Records on February 17th. The release features 11 tracks, including two remixes by Carmen Rizzo and Morgan Page. Carmen, Rosey Kaye and Ireesh Laal, found early success with the new album, as their track “Sweet Love” has earned two placements on primetime TV, on the CBS show “Shark” and the ABC show “Samantha Who”.

Carmen Rizzo uses Cakewalk’s soft-synths Rapture and Dimension Pro to produce his projects.

See his Artist Spotlight feature here.

Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rizzo

The Virtual Ornaments of An Innovator

Producer, mixer, remixer, writer & artist Carmen Rizzo

By Randy Alberts

Carmen Rizzo

Typically there’s room for doubt when someone claims that a new product has changed their life. Yeah, right. But when that someone is one of today’s best, busiest producer-musician-remixers around who helped forge an entirely new Grammy category, and their product rave is about a musical instrument—their favorite synthesizer—who’s to doubt it?

“Oh yes, Rapture has absolutely changed my life in how I make records,” says Carmen Rizzo, who four years ago led the way in creating NARAS’ new Grammy Award category for Best Electronic Album. “My life is all about making records and, really, I just can’t work without Rapture anymore. Every time I use it to come up with a sound I think, ‘Wow, I would’ve never come up with that sound without Rapture!’ Rapture opens up your mind to new things you just would’ve never thought of without it.”

Carrying the torch for electronic music with the help of BT, Crystal Method’s Ken Jordan and others was but one gem in Rizzo’s prodigious creative vein of music, concert, radio, t.v. and film sound achievements. Himself a two-time Grammy nominee, the short version of Carmen’s credits list reads like a who’s who of diverse talents and idioms: Coldplay, Alanis Morissette, Cirque du Soleil, Seal, Ryuichi Sakamoto, k.d. Lang, Pete Townshend and acclaimed British director Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist). Rizzo scored his first film soundtrack, The Power of the Game, for Apted’s documentary about the German soccer team’s 2006 World Cup win; released two critically-adored solo albums of his own (The Lost Art of the Idle Moment and the new Ornament of An Impostor); co-founded, produces and frequently tours with the world beat/electronic fusion band Niyaz and, currently, is among many pursuits DJ-ing a radio set heard by 14 million listeners each month on the highly influential KEXP.org/Seattle.

“I’d like to think that people come to me for something different, for something unique,” says Carmen. “The Cakewalk synths definitely make that easier for me to accomplish.”

Within Sight of the Hollywood Sign

A husband and father who donates 10% of his new album’s sales to a different charity each month, Rizzo owns and produces, writes, mixes and remixes in his Studio 775. There’s a close-up view of the intersecting street signs of Hollywood & Vine right outside his workspace window.

Carmen Rizzo on the Streets

“Be it audio plug-ins for EQ, compression and effects or virtual instruments, every producer and musician has their favorite go-to tools they use on everything they do,” he says. “Rapture is one of those tools for me. It’s there no matter where I’m creating music. On the road with my portable laptop rig or at the audio workstation here at Studio 775, honestly, Rapture is in pretty much everything I do.”

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