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Fifteen Questions Interview with Lolita Ritmanis

When did you start composing film music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What what is about music and/or sound that drew you to it? My sister Brigita was a huge influence on my musical development. I grew up hearing her practice hours on end (she is an accomplished pianist, who performed at Carnegie Hall at age 19.) She was my first piano teacher! I started writing songs when I was around 10 years of age. That eventually led to composing small pieces for orchestra, eventually composing a full musical. As a child I took piano, guitar and flute lessons, with great support from my parents. Although my sister Brigita is a professional musician, my mom, dad, and brother have always been involved in music as well. We are Latvian- Americans, culturally very involved in our Latvian roots. I sang in the choir (both at school in Portland, Oregon, and in the Latvian choir), played in the orchestra and in jazz band at Cleveland High School. Music was everywhere. When, at the age of 18 I was studying composing and arranging at the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, I became really interested in film music, continuing on to complete the film scoring program. The power of music to help tell a story was what captivated me. I am also a big lover of melody. I think film music benefits greatly from strong thematic composing, which is a very integral part of who I am as a composer.

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