Cincinnati-based composer Jason Richmond writes energetic, dynamic works inspired by his love of travel. We are excited to feature the premiere of his Two Lights: Too Lite* (2017) on our upcoming concert with All of The Above on November 16th at St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church.

CSB: Could you tell us a little about the background of your piece?
JR: When I was working on my doctoral dissertation during the fall semester 2013 (I had to finish it by the following January for a performance by the CCM Concert Orchestra in March 2014), I faced some writer’s block, having worked on it for six weeks straight. Almost all of the other students I was in school with at the time had a piece for Pierrot Ensemble. I had some left over ideas that I discarded in the process of writing my dissertation, so I decided to take a break from working on it and start a new work featuring Pierrot Ensemble instrumentation.

CSB: How does location impact your work?

JR: It impacts my work immensely. Having been a tour guide during the summer months while I was in school, I visited many places all over the US, particularly in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. I have used the inspiration gained from my travels to write various pieces; the sights and sounds that I see and hear to help to mold and shape my ideas.

CSB: How have you seen the environment for new music in Cincinnati change throughout your time here?

JR: The music scene in Cincinnati has grown significantly while I have lived here – and in almost every genre outside classical music as well. More venues that are used, for lack of a better word, to perform “mainstream” music, have opened their doors to classical music, so we are seeing increasingly more performances of this music outside of a traditional concert hall. This in return brought new music to more and more people throughout Cincinnati, and they are responding well and showing up to these performances.

CSB: What upcoming projects are on your radar this season?

JR: I will be in attendance at the NES Artist Residency in Skagastrond, Iceland for all of November and December 2017. I will be working on a few commissioned projects, works I plan on submitting to competitions and festivals, and the remaining two movements of my first symphony (yes, a symphony!). I have a lot on my plate while I’m there and I am hoping to get as much work done as I can!