Interview with . . . Katya Richardson

https://www.katyarichardson.com/

Los Angeles based composer, Katya Richardson, is quite accomplished. At the age of 15, the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed her orchestral work. Her resume is absolutely amazing. Check out her website to see all of her current and previous work. Richardson is nothing short of brilliant.

She also has released her debut album, Left from Write, that is available for everyone to enjoy. Richardson was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Where was your first concert as a fan? As a performer?

I was lucky to grow up around a lot of live jazz and classical music, so it’s hard to pick one experience! But one of my most memorable concerts was seeing Fleet Foxes at the Hollywood Bowl. It was so surreal being in a venue with that many people, and I was blown away by Robin Pecknold’s vocals. As a performer and composer, I’ve been playing piano for almost 15 years, having debuted compositions in venues like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and The Royal Opera House in London. I’ve recently started singing too, both my own work and as part of a synth-pop duo, so I’m excited to explore more of that.

Do you have a bucketlist? If so, what’s on it?

Definitely to travel more! I want to find a way to combine my love of travel and music, like immersing myself in another country or developing a project based on the local culture. I’d like to finish a classical album within the next year – that’s my next immediate goal, aside from my usual film-scoring work.

What was the last thing that you read?

I’m in a graphic novel phase, so I just finished reading a series called Saga. It’s essentially a space epic/fantasy influenced by the world of Star Wars. So visually stunning!

What are you listening to at the moment?

Recently discovered an icy pop group called Litany, so mostly vibing to them. Been super into FKA twigs and Tame Impala too.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Something to do with genetics or neuroscience, since I’ve always loved biology. I’m fascinated by how an environment can change our genes and why the human brain is drawn to music.

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Most of my work as a composer is multi-disciplinary, and collaboration is really central to what I do. I primarily score films, but regularly work with choreographers, dancers, and designers, and routinely record with live musicians. Some of my most experimental and meaningful collaborations have been through dance, so I’d love to explore more of that.

What do you want people to know about your music?

I just released my debut album, Left From Write! It is a hyperkinetic, electrojazz EP largely inspired by Flying Lotus and SOPHIE – featuring vocal loops, saxophone, and groovy vibes. Thematically, it celebrates dyslexia and individuality, commenting on issues that arise out of a standardized education system. It was originally written as part of a dance production at The Royal Opera House in London, in collaboration with a choreographer, lighting designer, and animator to visually and sonically recreate the multi-layered experience of a dyslexic. 

The 3 movements act as a narrative, looking at individuality as something organized and chaotic, but ultimately human. While I would love for this piece to encourage more discussions about dyslexia and destigmatize learning disabilities, in the end I always strive to make music that is fun. Left From Write is exactly that – it is a love letter to being human, and I hope you enjoy listening to it! 

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