In-tuned is my personal brand, encompassing all things musical in my life — my work as a professional live sound engineer, a musician, and a music aficionado.
The idea came to me in December of 2015, when I had wanted to start a “pirate” online radio station — only to discover that streaming music sites were already so prevalent, that there would be little use for another one.
This greatly influenced my perception of the music industry in the 21st century. Long gone were the days of road trips with friends across the state line to catch your favorite artist playing some dive venue, and recording cassette tapes from the radio. Bootlegs on YouTube reach a million views in a single day, and most importantly — why would anyone pay to see live music, when you can get a free, high-def, 24-hour feed directly to your home theater?
As a musician, the implications startled me. I found myself disenchanted with music, lamenting that streaming services had replaced record labels (the artists were still getting stiffed), and that “kids these days” don’t seem to care about live music. Then one day, something changed and ignited in me — I decided to tackle this issue as a challenge, to try and shake up the scene, and to make live music relevant again in this day and age.
I started doing Guitar Giveaways at my Saturday night coffeeshop open mic that I had ran for more than 2 years, building on the success of the Summer Songwriting Contest I had done a few years prior. I played bass for a few bands, one of which I managed from behind-the-scenes and grew into moderate local success, with steady paying gigs. I ended up taking an intensive gig as a professional live sound engineer for a local rock and roll bar, and even started running my own independent sound gigs — running shows for the VFW and a large “Made in Utah” showcase festival.
Live music entertainment was alive and well after all — not only has my appreciation for live music been reinvigorated, but I have honed my skills to know how to be an effective player in the live music industry.
The branding “In-tuned” came to me in an inspiration from listening to public radio one night, when the host used the phrase “stay tuned in”, and I started riffing off of it. It perfectly embodied the new-age connotation of being “in tune” with one’s self or the universe, as well as the musical notion of being pitch-perfect.
The dichotomy of “an analog lifestyle in a digital age” perfectly describes the mission and essence of In-tuned — more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle choice to approach and appreciate music in all its facets. It evolved partially from my notions of “face-to-face instead of Facebook”, and how technology is impacting our social norms. It’s imperative that we occasionally disconnect from the endless scrolling and trolling of the internet, and spend time with our friends and loved ones — playing heartfelt original songs around a campfire with an acoustic guitar, or singing along with our favorite cover songs.
The “give music. live music.” tagline has a two-fold meaning. First, it’s meant to rhyme, to give you the correct pronunciation — live as in Liv Tyler, not as in “live music” as we’re used to hearing it. Secondly, the reason I wanted to highlight this is that as musicians, we should share our songs and gifts with the world. Everyone has a song to sing. And as you embrace it, music becomes a lifestyle choice — you find yourself taking time learning new techniques and songs, going to shows and open mics, and listening to a wider variety of music.
In October 2018, I moved form Salt Lake to Chicago to be with my wonderful girlfriend, and explore new opportunities in a larger market. I am currently open to possibilities, including running live sound, managing bands, playing in a band, or starting a couple of projects of my own. I have a ton of “creative agency” ideas including band ideas, music videos, websites, content, branding, and marketing, which I will soon be working up into a portfolio as a formal part of my offering. If you have an idea you’d like to discuss, don’t hesitate to reach out!
I’ve been working on becoming a ukulele maestro, including starting a ukulele club, taking private lessons from Old Town School of Folk Music, and even recently a commission, working with Prague Shakespeare Company to create a piece from Midsummer Night’s Dream and teach an actor who had never played ukulele before. I am working on playing ukulele left-handed as well!
Stay “in-tuned” for more!
Christopher “Owen” Owens has been listening to music his whole life, and playing music for most of it. With a passion for the ukulele and live sound engineering. He listens to everything from AFI to ZZ Top, from country to rap, and from Lizzo to Wild Cherry. Outside of the music scene, you can find him tinkering with technology or doing Extreme Ironing in his spare time.