UI senior an emerging DJ

BY ZACHARY POUND | JUNE 20, 2011 7:20 AM

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When Liz Alonzi steps up to the turntables, she said she feeds off the give-and-take between her and the crowd. Her goal: to give the audience members something they’ve never heard before.

Musicians such as University of Iowa senior Alonzi take sounds and distort them into music with crazy sound waves and effects.

Just a few months ago, Alonzi was an resident assistant in Currier Hall, and now, she’s securing gigs as one of Iowa City’s few female spinmasters.

As an emerging DJ, Alonzi’s craft is mirroring electronic music’s growing national popularity.

“There are only so many instruments in the world, and they can only make so many noises,” she said. “With electronic music, people are creating completely new, never-heard-before sounds.”

Alonzi, 21, studies informatics while working towards an art degree and business minor. But DJ’ing is her passion.

The Naperville, Ill., native began listening to electronic music in 2001 and started DJ’ing in March 2010, when she met DJ and friend Josh Messer, also known as “DJ Arbiter.”

“She was very open to take things on as an individual without being spoon-fed and eager to share what she learned in exchange for constructive criticism,” the soon-to-be UI senior former Daily Iowan employee said. “Out of any DJ or musician I’ve ever spoken with, Liz is by far the most open to bettering herself by any means necessary.”

Alonzi spun her beats at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., in May, and has another performance lined up for July 7 at Gabe’s. Besides throwing gigs during the summer, she is interning at KeyLimeTie web-design company, which provides interactive software.

“I’m around computers 24/7, and I kind of love it,” she said.

In addition to that love for computers, electronic music came as a natural supplement to her life.

Keith Garnant — DJ Kage — who is in charge of booking all electronic acts at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., also has seen the natural talent she possesses for making electronic music.

“When we started the Dubstep Summit at Gabe’s, it was because no other bar in Iowa City had an electronic-music scene,” Garnant said. “She was there from the beginning, hanging out with other DJs, and when she decided to pick it up, she was very good for being a beginner.”

Samuel Saltzman, a fan of Alonzi’s music, said the experience is something that needs to be heard firsthand.

“Besides adding beats and drum rhythms, the unique sound that you get comes from the distortion of the sound wave,” the soon-to-be UI junior said. “The artist changes the angle of the pitch for the sound wave. They put together two non-melodic noises when put together resemble a chord of some sorts.”

Alonzi is working on her demo, and she said she’s excited about sharing it with the public.

“I put my heart into my music, because it is what I really enjoy, and I love sharing something that I love so much with other people,” she said.

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