Richard Mark Johnston
Based in the Front Range of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, Richard Mark Johnston [who normally goes by "Mark"] writes music for orchestra, smaller ensembles, guitar, and other instruments.
Mark's musical influences range from baroque composers - with Handel and Bach being particular favorites - to singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan - to Celtic, Folk, Rock, Jazz, and Bluegrass - and back to classical orchestral composers like Wagner and Holst.
Having lived about a third of his adult life in Japan with extensive travel throughout Asia, Mark has soaked up sonorities of eastern cultures - as reflected in compositions like "Amagisan Doro" and "Rain on the Tarn" with their plucked strings and wooden flutes.
"I've really been able to appreciate a lot of different styles of music, and I don't really care too much about what is at the 'top of the pops'", he says.
"It is fortunate that there are tools now that allow artists to make high quality recordings without having a record deal or financing from somebody else who wants to tell you what music to make."
"I enjoy composing for a big orchestra with its huge palette of sounds, but I also get a kick out of writing guitar tunes that I can share around the circle at a bluegrass jam."
"To me the best music transcends melody, rhythm, and lyrics. It gets underneath language and culture and reaches the listener's heart and mind in a way that is ephemeral and yet powerfully emotional. It creates a connection between the writer and the listener that cannot be translated into words but can be strong and specific."
"It makes you feel things."
NEW MUSIC - SPRING 2016
My latest composition entitled "On A Rising Wind" is in the pipeline for release and distribution through Apple Music/iTunes and CDBaby. You can hear some audio previews on my Music page.