At a radio station, you get a lot of CDs in the mail promoting various albums and artists. It's mostly pretty easy to figure out whether they fit into your programming (hint: punk rock CDs aren't usually played during classical music programs).
But earlier this summer, we received a pair of very different promotional CDs for the same album, titled The Rillito River Project
. One of these discs was marked as Classical, and contained pieces by Richard Strauss, Alan Seidler, and Karl Szymanowski, performed by violinist Patmore Lewis. The other was labeled World/Classical/New Age, with one piece on it: Elemental Flow by violinist/composer Patmore Lewis (click here to listen to a sample of Elemental Flow
I immediately wanted to know more about this Patmore Lewis—how did he reconcile these very different styles of music? What was the story of the Rillito River
After a bit research, I only became more intrigued—he’s a violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
, who also writes new age/world music and collaborates with hip hop artists
? I definitely had to talk to this guy. A few emails and a phone call later, and we got to chat. Listen to Patmore Lewis describe the Rillito River Project
Patmore explained how the variety of music he listens to influences how he composes, and that his approach to music reflects “the spiritual and psychological influences of the world becoming a smaller place.” Hear Patmore describe his approach to composing
He then went into detail about his composition Elemental Flow, featured on The Rillito River Project. Listen to Patmore talk about Elemental Flow
He’s also played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
for over 20 years. He says he’s learned a lot from the variety of conductors and singers with whom he comes into contact. Listen to Patmore on his experiences with the Metropolitan Opera
Finally, I asked Patmore about his other projects and future plans. He has to keep some of his projects under wraps because they’re still in development, but he was able to tell me a few things. Listen to some of Patmore’s plans
You can hear selection from The Rillito River Project on Classical Music with Jim Lange
and you can learn more by visiting their website
Special thanks to Max of Crossover Media for helping to arrange this interview.