Richard Green on the “very special feeling” of creating ‘The Circle Closes’

“Instruments for a composer are like brushes for a painter,” Richard Green says of the creation of his new EP ‘The Circle Closes’

Richard Green showcased the diversity of neoclassical music with ‘The Circle Closes’, a sprawling EP that saw the Italian instrumentalist span the reaches of rock, jazz and pop.

A collaboration with pianist Irene Veneziano and strings quartet Archimia, the five-track project is the second in a trio of EPs Green has undertaken, but he still found time to swing by Happy Mag for an interview.

Richard Green EP

Below, we caught up with Green for an insightful chat about collaborations, songwriting, and how “music is not just business, but also a way to connect and talk with humanity.”

Catch our full interview with Richard Green below, and scroll down to listen to his new EP ‘The Circle Closes’

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

GREEN: First, thanks a lot for reaching out to me. Today, I have to start to work on a new track for a second music project of mine.

HAPPY: Tell us a little about where you live, what do you love about it?

GREEN: I lived in London for 12 years, but at the moment I’m in my hometown (Piacenza) because I have to record the third neo classical EP. I’m gonna record here, in Piacenza, but I’m gonna come back to London in September.

Richard Green EP

HAPPY: ‘The Circle Closes’ blends pop, jazz, and rock with a neoclassical twist. What sparked this unique sonic fusion?

GREEN: Until a few years ago, I would never have thought to compose this type of music, but during the COVID years, I knew an amazing classical pianist (Irene Veneziano) who is a very nice person as well.

I wanted to collaborate with her so this gave me the idea to combine my style of music with classical stuff, otherwise she would never have collaborated on this project, and honestly, I’m very happy with the result.

HAPPY: Is it your personal taste or a deliberate attempt to bridge genres?

GREEN: I never listened classical music before this project, and I realised I missed some very good music. Indeed, I’m listening to more classical composers nowadays.

I did not listen to them when I did my musician degree in London, but I’m listening to them now. That’s funny.

Richard Green EP

HAPPY: Collaboration seems key to this project. How did working with pianist Irene Veneziano and the Archimia string quartet influence the final sound?

GREEN: Well, I think I seriously composed some very nice ideas, but it was impossible without their qualities as session musicians. The stuff was not simple and they did a fantastic performance, but this is what you expect from amazing musicians.

HAPPY: The EP opener, ‘Wrinkles,’ reflects on the passage of time with bluesy jazz vibes.  Were there specific emotions you aimed to capture in each track?

GREEN: Because it’s a story and we can consider each song as a chapter, I’d say yes. There is some kind of emotion in each track. When I composed ‘Wrinkle, I had in my mind the tiredness of the many years I’ve lived.

Richard Green interview

HAPPY: How did you use instrumentation to tell these stories without lyrics?

GREEN: I think it’s more about “sounds and color” instead of instrumentation. Instruments for a composer are like brushes for a painter, and each of them has its own signature, but what really makes the picture are the colors, or sounds for the composer.

I prefer to say that I use notes to tell stories. In this type of composition , the piano coordinates with the melodic voices given by the strings.

HAPPY: From the wistful ‘Wrinkles’ to the optimistic ‘A Place To Call Home,’ the EP takes us on a journey. Did you have a specific narrative arc in mind while composing?

GREEN: Absolutely, but the specific narrative could be understood just having all the three music EPs, because it’s a full story, it’s not possible to understand it fully just listening to a part of it.

Richard Green interview

HAPPY: ‘A Place To Call Home’ is the EP’s sweetest track, evoking a rom-com feel. What are your inspirations for creating such heartwarming music?

GREEN: This song represents my wish, and I think those of many, to end our days in a place we can call home, a place where we have our affections and we are really loved.

HAPPY: ‘Your Angel’ takes a darker turn with brooding violins.  Do you find yourself drawn to contrasting emotions within your music?

GREEN: This is what I wanted. ‘Your Angel’ has references to death, so I wanted it to be a dark and nostalgic piece.

HAPPY: ‘The Circle Closes’ is the second of a planned trilogy.  Can you offer any teasers about the themes or direction of the final EP?

GREEN: Yes, ‘The Circle Closes’ represents the end of this story and it’s pretty simple to understand it by the title. The next and final EP will be the beginning and it will be an EP with a certain serenity and joy.

Richard Green interview

HAPPY: Creating emotional resonance through instrumental music is a challenge.  What are your creative tools for achieving this?

GREEN: It came naturally to me. I simply immerse myself in the emotion I want to tell or I’m feeling in that moment of my life, and I set it up in music.

HAPPY: This trilogy seems like a deliberate artistic statement. What message or feeling do you hope listeners take away from this collection of EPs?

GREEN: It is an artistic statement. I mean, music is art, but today’s society is reducing it to a common business. I like that this project reminds us that music is not business, but also a way to connect a talk with humanity.

HAPPY: Is it about the power of music to tell stories or the beauty of the emotional journey itself?

GREEN: Because of the beauty and the emotion that music can transmit, history tells us that music can be so strong that it can create real revolutions, even though 50 years ago was a different time, still, music can be very powerful.

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

GREEN: Pretty simple to say; making music. In fact, I compose primarily for myself, for my own personal wellbeing. I get a very unique and special feeling anytime I finish a song/composition, and I think that’s really a kind of happiness.