Keith Richie approaches composing and producing music with a sense of gleeful independence and resourcefulness that one might attribute to being born and raised in Texas. He has resided in a small town called Mesquite for the last 30 years, developing software, making music, and enjoying family life.
Sporting a lustrous beard and a cowboy’s steady gaze, Keith traverses the worlds of Sharepoint computer software, music composition, and social media with a gentle ease. His YouTube persona is the Maestoso, a fitting Italian term indicating parts of musical scores meant to sound large, triumphant, heroic, and victorious, such as the Olympic Fanfare and Theme by one of his idols, John Williams.
“If you were to take John Williams, John Carpenter, and Vangelis and put them all in the same room…what would the outcome be like?” he wonders. “Those three individuals have had the most influence on me, and I think that I pull the most inspiration from their work.”
The Keith Richie signature sound is a mixture of electronica, symphonica, and progressive ambient. Early days of rock and metal fandom evolved into an appreciation of Tangerine Dream, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Enya, Deep Forest, Kraftwerk, and Christopher Franke. It follows that his albums stylistically range from Berlin-school, to film score, to ambient and chill-out. His current style of composition uses synthesizers, including a Native Instruments S88 controller and Virtual Instruments, and incorporates themes related to space or otherworldliness.
Keith’s ambient electronic albums are often based on a central theme conveying a soundtrack-type listening experience. He recently composed music for the short film Dead Love: A Fever Dream of Terror, following his goal of composing film scores, particularly for Sci-Fi and Horror. Futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life spark and ignite Keith’s imagination and music.
One can debate the demise of physical music, but this self-funded and self-released composer-producer still believes in offering choices, releasing his music on all formats. His “next level” Ambient Highways release (April 2021) will be available in colored vinyl, CD, downloads and streaming formats through his music company Other Worlds Than These Music, a nod to Steven King’s series The Dark Tower.
A love of collaboration has fueled the artist’s ever-growing catalog of releases, building sonic worlds ranging in energy and emotion. The pure ambient electronica project VR (Geoff Varosky and Keith Richie) and the chillout of “CTFO” are not far afield, but he makes a wide left turn off the ambient highway into his industrial/heavy techno rock land of binarywaste. Don’t fence me in, begs the composer in Keith, adding, “Being involved in these other side projects allows me to be able to express myself in various ways and not lock myself into one specific style of music.”
No matter where the ambient highway takes Keith, Monday at 5pm CDT is the time for reconnecting with fans and on his live video series, “Monday Musings with Maestoso” a surprisingly relaxing sharing of music, guest hosts, musical guests, and inside perspectives along with gear talk and creative noodling, streaming on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.