Richard Barbieri

Richard Barbieri

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Richard Barbieri

Img_capt = Richard Barbieri on stage with Porcupine Tree at the Captial Theater, Falls Church, VA-10/12/07.
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Born = birth date and age|df=yes|1957|11|30
London, England
Instrument = Keyboards, synthesizer, programming
Genre = Progressive rock, neo-psychedelia, art rock
Occupation = Musician
Years_active = 1976–present
Associated_acts = Porcupine Tree

Richard Barbieri, "(pronounced bahr-bee-air-ee)", (born 30 November 1957, in London, England) is an English keyboardist and composer. He came to prominence in the late '70s as a founder of new wave pioneers Japan, and as of 2008, is a member of the current Porcupine Tree.


Barbieri started his musical career with the group Japan in 1976. Within a year the band was signed to the Hansa/Ariola label and began work on a debut album, which received severe criticism from the UK music press on its 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 Albums Chart for a year. The painstaking approach to synthesiser programming by Richard Barbieri and David Sylvian on top of 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.Fact|date=December 2007 The band split up at the height of their popularity after a world tour that year.

Beginning in 1983-84 Barbieri has regularly contributed his unique soundscapes and synth textures 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 has produced six collaborative albums to date, initially under the name The Dolphin Brothers ("Catch the Fall", 1987) and later as Jansen & Barbieri (including "Stories Without Borders", 1993,"Other Worlds in a Small Room", 1996, and "Stone to Flesh", 1997).

The band members reunited in 1989 under the name Rain Tree Crow, without guitarist Rob Dean, to release just one album for Virgin. The album charted and brought critical acclaim. Again the group parted company shortly afterwards.

Barbieri formed the Medium Productions label in 1993 with Jansen and Karn, with the objective being to enable the artists to create music and collaborate with fellow musicians on projects, without record company interference and restriction. They kicked off the label with the Jansen/Barbieri/Karn (sometimes abbreviated to JBK) release entitled "Beginning to Melt". 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.

During this period Barbieri also made two other collaborative albums, one with his wife Suzanne J Barbieri under the name "Indigo Falls", and one with Tim Bowness from the band No-Man titled "Flame".

Also in 1993 Barbieri joined the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. Six studio albums and many tours later, they are enjoying chart success around Europe with sales of over 120,000 for their album "In Absentia". The following studio album "Deadwing" entered the American Billboard chart on its first week of release. With the latest Porcupine Tree release "Fear Of A Blank Planet", the band are enjoying even greater levels of success, with a top 40 entry in the UK album chart. Increased radio airtime and favourable mainstream magazine reviews and interviews are further increasing public knowledge of the band.

Aside from recording and touring, Barbieri has written articles on analogue synthesis for various publications; composed music for film; programs for music software and synthesiser manufacturers. 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.

In 2005 he 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.



*1977 - "Adolescent Sex" (Hansa Records)
*1978 - "Obscure Alternatives" (Hansa Records)
*1979 - "Quiet Life" (Hansa Records)
*1980 - "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" (Virgin records)
*1981 - "Tin Drum" (Virgin Records)

*1981 - "Assemblage" (compilation) (Hansa Records)
*1983 - "Oil on Canvas" (live album) (Virgin Records)
*1984 - "Exorcising Ghosts" (compilation) (Virgin Records)
*1989 - "Souvenir From Japan" (compilation)(Hansa Records)
*1991 - "The Other Side Of Japan" (compilation) (Receiver Records)

Rain Tree Crow

*1991 - "Rain Tree Crow" (Virgin Records)


*1985 - "Worlds In A Small Room" (Pan East (UK) / JVC Victor (Japan))
*1991 - "Stories Across Borders" (Venture / Virgin)
*1995 - "Stone To Flesh" (Medium Productions)
*1996 - "Other Worlds In A Small Room" (Medium Productions)


*1994 - "Beginning to Melt" (Medium Productions)
*1994 - "Seed" (Medium Productions)
*1999 - "ISM" (Polydor / Medium)
*2001 - "Playing in a Room with People" (Medium Productions)

The Dolphin Brothers

*1987 - "Catch the Fall" (Virgin Records)
*1987 - "Face To Face" (Japanese T.V.C.M. 7” Single) (Virgin Records)(Also included on Virgin Japan CD release ofCatch The Fall)


*1997 - "Changing Hands" (Medium Productions)

Indigo Falls

*1996 - (Richard Barbieri/Suzanne Barbieri) (Medium Productions)

Richard Barbieri/Tim Bowness

*1994 - "Flame" (One Little Indian)


*2001 - "T’AI" (Auditorium)

Richard Barbieri

*2005 - "Things Buried" (Intact Records)
*2008 - "Stranger Inside" (K-Scope/Snapper)

Porcupine Tree

*1993 - "Up the Downstair" (Delerium Records)
*1995 - "The Sky Moves Sideways" (Delerium Records)
*1996 - "Signify"* (Delerium Records)
*1997 - "Coma Divine" (Delerium Records)
*1998 - "Metanoia"* (Delerium Records)
*1999 - "Stupid Dream"* (Snapper Records)
*2000 - ""* (Snapper Records)
*2000 - "Lightbulb Sun"* (Snapper Records)
*2001 - "Recordings"* (Snapper Records)
*2002 - "" (Snapper Records)
*2002 - "In Absentia"* (Lava / Warner)
*2005 - "Deadwing"* (Lava / Warner)
*2007 - "Fear of a Blank Planet"* (Roadrunner / Warner)
*2007 - "Nil Recurring"* EP (Peaceville Records)

* Albums marked with an (*) include Barbieri compositions

External links

* [ Richard Barbieri Official Website]

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