- Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi! My name is Katya Richardson and I’m a freelance composer, producer, and vocalist based in Los Angeles.
- So Katya, how did you get into music?
I first got into music through classical piano lessons when I was young, and was always fascinated with the idea of combining music and visuals. Some of my earliest musical memories are of watching Fantasia and trying to recreate it by scoring my own homemade videos. But it wasn’t until high school where I really got serious about composing and had opportunities to hear my music played by orchestra.
- What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?
I primarily work as a film composer, but my background spans a variety of other mediums like jazz piano, synth-pop, and writing for dance. Musically, I’m drawn to combining elements of all these influences and making art that is collaborative. I’m fascinated in blurring the line between acoustic and electronic music, and juxtaposing modern sounds with traditional styles.
- What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music?
Collaborating with other people – whether it be filmmakers, dancers, or live musicians – is the most fulfilling part of my career. That’s when my ideas come to life. Sometimes when working on a project it’s easy to get fixated on the technical and theoretical, but when working with others I’m reminded of why I do what I do. I am constantly surprised every time I hear my music played live – it’s an indescribable feeling!
- What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?
I generally approach each project – whether it be a film score or a song – as its own entity, so the process is a little different each time. I would say that most of my music is naturally cinematic and emotive, and I like focusing on certain elements for each piece. I’m super into minimalist textures and vocal loops, and sometimes a whole piece is about exploring that. Other times, my jazz piano background kicks in and I find myself prioritizing melody and harmony. In my most recent electrojazz release, Left From Write, the musical process was especially driven by the narrative. It was a dance collaboration with a choreographer, aiming to sonically reinterpret the creativity and alienation of a dyslexic. For me that meant creating an entirely new language for the piece and completely disregarding traditional musical phrasing. I looked at it in terms of sound design, production, and experimenting with the stereo space as if it were someone’s inner monologue – playing with moments of musical saturation and focus. I’ve never interacted with something so thematically before.
- Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?
Classically, I’m influenced by minimalist composers like John Adams and Phillip Glass, and the electronic aspects of my music are largely inspired by the jazz fusion of Flying Lotus and dance composer, Son Lux. In terms of current muses, I really look up to the work of Isobel Waller-Bridge; there aren’t many female film composers out there, and I love how her recent score to Vita and Virginia (2018) showcases grungy electronics and traditional strings to both romanticize and modernize the 1920s. I think it’s super cool when genres collide and something traditional, like a film score, can still be innovative and genuine.
- Where can someone looking for your music, find it?
I just released my EP, Left From Write, on all platforms, including Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0KNJa0wQm7ezIkgPmASCHY?si=ROTqQv_7TtyPr4QVqjCAHQ. And my recent film music can be found on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/katyarichardsonmusic
- What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?
I haven’t done many live shows recently, but I’d definitely like to do more! Unlike my normal work, where I record something and show a polished final product, performing for other people is such a raw and intimate experience. I really enjoy being able to connect to my audience on an instant level like that.
- What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?
At this stage in my life, I am still experimenting with my sound and perspective. However, one can easily spend a life in music constantly perfecting and never being fully satisfied. My ultimate goal is to use music as a portal to another world and time. I want to inspire and move people, encourage more women in music, and create genuine art.
- Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are you future plans for the band?
I just finished scoring an experimental dance film about plastic pollution in our oceans, and I’m very excited to share that soon. I have a few other film and dance collaborations lined up, but my priority for the next year is to start working on a classical album and apply to Master’s programs.
Katya Richardson’s new EP – “Left from Write”, is now available to stream on all platforms. Check her out!