Richard Barbieri started his musical career with the group Japan in 1976. Within a year the band were signed to the Hansa/Ariola label and began work on a debut album, which received severe criticism from the UK press on it’s release. 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 1984/5 Richard contributed to David Sylvian’s solo albums, working alongside such innovators as Holger Czukay, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Robert Fripp. 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.
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 in 1993 Barbieri joined the rock band Porcupine Tree. Six studio albums and many tours later, they are currently signed to Warner Brothers and enjoying chart success around Europe with sales of over 120,000 for their album ‘In Absentia’. This album has recently been nominated for a Grammy Award in the States for the Non-Orchestral 5.1 Surround Sound category. The latest album “Deadwing” entered the US Billboard chart on it’s first week of release.
Aside from recording and touring, Richard has written articles on analogue synthesis for various publications; composed music for film ; programs for music software and synthesiser manufacturers and is currently writing a score for the 1920’s original gothic horror film ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. He regularly guests with The Bays, an electronic improvisational group. .Recent highlights include two Radio One sessions for the late John Peel and concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Brighton Dome.
He has just released his debut solo album “Things Buried”. Although he has made many albums as part of a group, trio or duo, surprisingly this is his first solo work. The instrumental album also features the distinctive performances of Andy Gangadeen on acoustic and electronic drums and Percy Jones on fretless bass.