Richard Barbieri – A Brief Biography
Richard Barbieri started his musical career with the group Japan in 1976.
Although initially perceived as a ‘hyped’ band, Japan went on to record five studio albums culminating in the groundbreaking ‘Tin Drum’ which stayed in the UK charts for a year. The painstaking approach to synthesiser programming by Richard Barbieri and David Sylvian and the original rhythmic patterns of Steve Jansen and Mick Karn produced a sound that remains original to this day. They were the one of the most successful chart bands in Europe and Asia in 1982 despite the increasingly experimental nature of their music.
The band split up at the height of their popularity after a world tour in 1983.
In 1983/4/5 Richard contributed to David Sylvian and Mick Karn solo albums.
Soon after, he started a long musical association with Steve Jansen, which produced 6 collaborative albums.
The band members reunited in 1989 under the name Rain Tree Crow to release just one album for Virgin. Considered their finest work, the album charted and brought critical acclaim but again the group parted company shortly afterwards.
Barbieri formed the Medium label in 1993 with Karn and Jansen with the objective being to enable the artists to create music and collaborate with fellow musicians on projects without record company interference and restriction. Thirteen diverse albums were released during a ten-year period; Jansen and Barbieri’s collaboration with DJ Takemura on the album ‘Changing Hands’ being one of the highlights. Also during this period Barbieri recorded the album "Flame" with Tim Bowness which was released on One Little Indian Records.
In 1993 Barbieri joined the rock band Porcupine Tree. 10 albums and many tours later, they are now enjoying chart success around Europe and America with sales of over 200,000 for their album "Fear of a Blank Planet" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in the 5.1 Surround Sound category.
2009 saw the release of "The Incident" album which charted all over Europe and peaked at number 23 in the UK charts and 25 in the US Billboard charts. Again the album was nominated for a Grammy in the surround category. The band finished their "Incident" tour with sell out shows at Radio City Music Hall, NY and The Royal Albert Hall, London in 2010.
Aside from recording and touring, Richard has written articles on analogue synthesis for various publications and sound designs for music software and synthesiser manufacturers.
He regularly guests with The Bays, an electronic improvisational group.
Recent highlights for the band include two Radio One sessions for the late John Peel and concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Brighton Dome.
His first solo album "Things Buried" was re released recently on Snapper records.
A second solo album "Stranger Inside" was released on KScope in 2008.
In February 2012 a long intended project was finally realised when "Not the Weapon but the Hand" was released, also on Kscope.
A collaboration with vocalist / lyricist Steve Hogath.