The Detroit Illharmonic Symphony initially formed in 2001 to create music for several animated TV shows produced by Klasky Csupo Animation. Mixing live classical and rock instruments (cello, piano, bass, guitars, synthesizers, trumpet, saxophone and drums) with hip hop techniques (samples and turntables), they created an exciting sound that had never quite been done before.
Though none of the shows was picked up by a network, the musicians were so enamored of the unique blend of hip hop, classical, world beat, electronica and jazz they were creating that they decided to stay together and continue making music.
Since then, they have recorded seven full length albums and provided scores for several film and television projects. The group's line up is constantly changing, but usually consists of cello, bass, violin, er hu, piano, trumpet, turntables, guitar, drums and percussion (along with assorted vocalists and intriguing political samples).
The large size of the ensemble makes touring a very difficult prospect. To remedy this, the Illharmonic creates movies for their music which they distribute worldwide to theaters, allowing the group to "perform" in front of international crowds on a regular basis. Their films have screened on six continents at such notable venues as Brooklyn Academy of Music, The REDCAT Theatre, The Logan Center (University of Chicago), Royce Hall (UCLA), DeBartolo Center for Performing Arts (University of Notre Dame), Cinema Detroit and the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
In 2014, their film for "It's a Lovely Day" toured with the 50th anniversary re-release of The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, screening in 20 cities across the US. "Ruby's Song" (a video from the album Their Are Seven Levels) won best music video at the 2020 LA Punk Film Festival and "And Then It's Over" (also from Seven Levels) won best animated music video at the 2021 California Music Video Awards. Several other recent videos have been playing around the world as well, screening in Tokyo, Melbourne, Rome, Munich, Prague, Cincinnati and many other dynamite cities.
The Detroit Illharmonic Symphony is based, oddly enough, in Los Angeles rather than the Motor City. However, group members are from all over the world, a situation that contributes heavily to their extremely unique sound. Currently, the Illharmonic is finishing up their eighth album and continuing to create new music for films and television.