Category Archives: Richard Barbieri

Richard Barbieri (Japan, Rain Tree Crow, Porcupine Tree) Returns With His New Album ‘Under A Spell’

For Immediate Release

Richard Barbieri (Japan, Rain Tree Crow, Porcupine Tree) Returns With His New Album Under A Spell

Released on Kscope on 26th February

(photo credit – Carl Glover)

The man whose illustrious career began in the late 70s with synth-pop visionaries Japan and more recently as a member of influential art-rock band Porcupine Tree follows up 2017’s Planets + Persona with new album Under A Spell.

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE: (https://youtu.be/IjBW8g3v1OQ)

Richard Barbieri didn’t plan to make an album like Under A Spell, originally intended his fourth solo album to be a direct follow from its predecessor, 2017’s Planets + Persona.

That record, made in different studios across Europe and heavily incorporating live performances from a range of musicians, was adventurous and bold, showcasing Barbieri’s endlessly inventive song writing and mastery of electronic music. The follow-up would pick up where it left off, journeying further into the expansive terrain he mapped out on the previous record. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything changed. “I wrote and recorded it in my studio at home, with all this strangeness going on outside,” says Barbieri of Under A Spell. “It became something completely different: this weird, self-contained dream-state album.”

On Under A Spell, Barbieri was intent on capturing the atmospheres and moods that his disconnected brain was conjuring rather than slaving over arrangements and melodies. Songs such as ‘Flare’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Sleep Will Find You’ and its companion piece-of-sorts ‘Darkness Will Find You’ are sharply defined despite their dream-inspired genesis. He points to the evocative opening and closing tracks, ‘Under A Spell’ and ‘Lucid’, as the keys that unlock the album. “Those two tracks have the whole meaning within them,” he says. “The first song, ‘Under A Spell’, is leading you down a path, moving into places where you’re not sure what’s going on. There are whispers in the background, spells being cast in a deserted wood. Then the final track, ‘Lucid’, is the opposite. You’re in this comforting lucid dream, but then you’re drifting further away from it, trying to come out of it. There are voices saying: ‘Wake up, wake up, come back alive…’”

Listeners will be able to make out those voices but there are no vocals, these voices, collaborators, include Marillion frontman Steve Hogarth and Swedish singer Lisen Rylander Love (who co-wrote ‘A Star Light’).

The album’s title perfectly encapsulates the haunting, evocative world Barbieri has created. Songs such as the skittering, billowing ‘Clockwork’ and ‘Sketch 6’s dub-inspired soundscape hang suspended in that strange half-world between sleep and waking – a subconscious reflection of the surreal state the planet has found itself in over recent months. “I was having a lot of bizarre, recurring dreams that were hanging around after I woke up,” says Barbieri. “They were based around this woodland pathway, which is really summed up by the album cover – this surreal, deserted, Blair Witch Project type of environment. You’re going through these woods, heading towards this light, almost like you’re leaving life. That’s where the title Under A Spell came from – it was a feeling of not being totally in control. Almost as if your dreams are pointing you in directions that sometimes you can control and sometimes you can’t.”

As ex-founder of Japan, the new-wave pioneers and one of the most ground-breaking bands of their era, Richard Barbieri helped spark the electronic music revolution that followed, his synthesiser sound not only defined the band but influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan and Talk Talk. Following Japan’s split, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson to form the legendary progressive outfit Porcupine Tree, that saw him play on nine of the band’s albums, including 1999’s Stupid Dream, 2002’s In Absentia and 2007’s acclaimed Fear Of A Blank Planet. Following PT’s hiatus Barbieri has pursued a solo career, releasing albums that include 2005’s Things Buried, 2008’s Stranger Inside and 2017’s Planets + Persona, as well as his recent EP series, Variant.1-5.

Barbieri’s willingness to constantly redefine his own musical boundaries are never more evident than on the brilliant, hypnotic Under A Spell – the latest milestone on this utterly unique journey.

Under A Spell tracklisting
1. Under A Spell [07:19]
2. Clockwork [02:33]
3. Flare 2 [08:51]
4. A Star Light [03:50]
5. Serpentine [06:22]
6. Sleep Will Find You [02:51]
7. Sketch 6 [06:30]
8. Darkness Will Find You [04:58]
9. Lucid [06:14]

Under A Spell will be released on Kscope on 26th February, on CD,  gatefold double black vinyl LP, limited edition gatefold double red vinyl LP (exclusive to the Kscope store) and digitally with pre-orders available HERE https://RichardBarbieri.lnk.to/UnderASpell

For Hi-res images please go to www.kscopemusic.com/media/richardbarbieri

Follow Richard Barbieri:
https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/richardbarbieri_music
http://kscopemusic.com/artists/richard-barbieri

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com


Japan/Porcupine Tree Keyboardist Richard Barbieri Releases 360° Video For “Solar Sea” Taken From His Forthcoming New Studio Album Planets + Persona

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For Immediate Release

Japan/Porcupine Tree Keyboardist Richard Barbieri Releases 360° Video For “Solar Sea” Taken From His Forthcoming New Studio Album Planets + Persona

“What other planets are out there? Could there be any life 40 light-years away?” – The new 360° video for Richard Barbieri’s track “Solar Sea”, explores these questions, imagines these new worlds – colliding planets, ice crystals inside a hollow comet, volcanic asteroids spewing molten lava into open space and a breathtaking finale.

VIEW HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQiZVQc06KM ;

360° VIDEO VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS:
To view Richard Barbieri’s Solar Sea in 360, you will need to view the video using the latest version of the YouTube app on iOS and Android. By moving your smartphone or tablet, you will be able to look around the 360 degree view. To watch on a desktop or laptop computer, you will need to make sure you are using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera. You will then be able to move the view by clicking and dragging inside the video player or by using the WASD keys. For the most immersive experience, we recommend using a VR headset.

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Having seen the “Solar Sea” video for the first time using a VR headset Richard enthusiastically states “THAT WAS INCREDIBLE! It’s amazing that Miles (Skarin) has captured the movement and turbulence of planets, the particles and matter that I was trying to reference in the music. It’s a totally immersive experience and, along with the artwork, another important addition to the album experience”

360° video producer Miles Skarin (www.crystalspotlight.com) explains the development process and techniques behind this stunning visual journey “Following the concept of Solar Sea and drawing on the album artwork, we created dramatic environments which showcase the variety and possibility of distant planets and star systems. We wanted to create visually intricate scenes – large planets colliding, ice crystals spanning across a hollow comet and even a volcanic asteroid spewing molten lava into space. These scenes were created in Maxon’s Cinema 4D by building the individual objects required for each scene and placing them in 3D space. To render the scenes, we used Video Copilot’s Element 3D, which allowed us to add materials and lighting. We then animated a path for the camera to follow which would become our 360 degree viewpoint. The scenes were set up for 360 VR using Mettle’s Skybox plugin. These tools and plugins were all brought together using Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, which create a very solid pipeline for 360 VR video production.”

Planets + Persona, the new album from Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboardist, Richard Barbieri, was recorded in London, Italy and Sweden; and is Barbieri’s most ambitious, thoroughly engrossing and immersive album to date. He skilfully utilises the talents of a pan-European core of musicians to produce an album that marries synthesized sounds with organic instrumentation to conjure up vivid, colourful and allusive soundscapes. It’s a skilful commingling of texture and tone, mood and musicality.

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Planets + Persona tracklisting:
Solar Sea (07:30)
New Found Land (07:17)
Night Of The Hunter (10:44)
Interstellar Medium (05:38)
Unholy (08:58)
Shafts Of Light (06:39)
Solar Storm (06:22)

Album teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx5bKmBCVYg&feature=youtu.be

Planets+ Persona will be released on 3rd March except USA & Canada – 17th March & France – 26th May, on CD, LP & Digital Download (feat. New Found Land instant download) – all available to pre-order now here: http://found.ee/RB_PLANETS_PERSONA

Richard Barbieri will be performing live in the UK in March:
16th – Exeter, The Phoenix (w/Grice in support)
25th – Birmingham, The Birmingham & Midland Institute (A morning with / masterclass)
26th – Birmingham, The Blue Orange Theatre (w/ Grice in support)
28th – London, Hoxton Hall
For ticket details : https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/

As an ex-founder of the new-wave pioneers Japan, Barbieri was a leader in creating the ground-breaking synthesizer sound that defined the band and influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk and a whole raft of artists to follow. Together, the band recorded five studio albums culminating in the groundbreaking Tin Drum, which stayed in the UK Albums Chart for a year.

Following Japan, and a decade of collaborations on his own Medium label, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson’s Porcupine Tree, playing keyboards on all the band’s albums since 1993 as well as releasing two striking solo albums: Things Buried and Stranger Inside.

His ear for composing unique soundscapes and synth textures has led to collaboration albums with other talented composers, such as Steve Hogarth (Marillion) Steve Jansen & Mick Karn (Japan) and Tim Bowness (No-Man)

Richard Barbieri online:
http://www.richardbarbieri.net ;
https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/74aT58mmwQWq4qUxTE0SDr ;
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2PGdtnsImzX4HHafVwxgAQ
https://itun.es/gb/N7psi

For hi-res image downloads (media use only): http://www.kscopemusic.com/media/richard-barbieri ;

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com


Japan and Porcupine Tree Keyboardist Richard Barbieri Set To Release New Studio Album Planets + Persona via Kscope on March 3, 2017

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For Immediate Release

Japan and Porcupine Tree Keyboardist Richard Barbieri Set To Release New Studio Album
Planets + Persona via Kscope on March 3, 2017

Album teaser clip launched!

London – Legendary Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboardist Richard Barbieri releases his most sonically expansive work to date, with a brand new album entitled Planets + Persona. It is the third Barbieri solo album, but the first to feature such a wide pallet of instrumentation. Vintage analogue synthesizers combine with acoustic performances and jazz elements. Twisted voices are always present, though not in a language we can recognize. Barbieri skilfully utilizes the talents of a pan-European core of musicians to produce an album that marries synthesized sounds with organic instrumentation to conjure up vivid, colourful and allusive soundscapes. It’s a skillful commingling of texture and tone, mood and musicality.

Fans can have a taste of Planets + Persona here with a teaser of all 7 album tracks:

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Recorded in London, Italy and Sweden, this is Barbieri’s most ambitious solo work to date with a central theme of duality that runs through the album. The title alone – “Planets and Persona” alludes to this, and the dialectic theme is a constant throughout the contrasting and shape-shifting sounds of the album. Take, for example, Night of the Hunter – inspired by Charles Laughton’s only directorial movie, the piece moves through subtle shifts of atmosphere and emphasis, through melodic, dream-like sequences through to harsher tones; it’s a piece that builds to a profound cumulative effect. Elsewhere, Solar Storm shifts gears artfully, with Percy Jones’ sometimes percussive bass work contrasting to the smoother synthesizer textures incisively. Barbieri’s purely solo Interstellar Medium shows that his ability to develop and realize a theme under his own auspices that underscores his innate creativity. It’s but one aspect of a thoroughly engrossing and immersive album.

Planets + Persona tracklisting:
Solar Sea (07:30)
New Found Land (07:17)
Night Of The Hunter (10:44)
Interstellar Medium (05:38)
Unholy (08:58)
Shafts Of Light (06:39)
Solar Storm (06:22])

As an ex-founder of the new-wave pioneers Japan, Barbieri was a leader in creating the ground-breaking synthesizer sound that defined the band and influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk and a whole raft of artists to follow. Together, the band recorded five studio albums culminating in the groundbreaking Tin Drum, which stayed in the UK Albums Chart for a year.

Following Japan, and a decade of collaborations on his own Medium label, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson’s Porcupine Tree, playing keyboards on all the band’s albums since 1993 as well as releasing two striking solo albums: Things Buried and Stranger Inside.

His ear for composing unique soundscapes and synth textures has led to collaboration albums with other talented composers, such as Steve Hogarth (Marillion) Steve Jansen & Mick Karn (Japan) and Tim Bowness (No-Man)

Planets+ Persona will be released on the following formats – all available to pre-order now here: http://found.ee/RB_PLANETS_PERSONA

CD – The album is complimented with photographic scenes of dramatic Icelandic landscapes combined with studio shots in the 16-page booklet.
2LP – The gatefold sleeve features the stunning Icelandic ice cave scene on the cover and has been mastered by “Tubular Bells” producer Simon Heyworth. The double LP runs at 45 rpm for stunning quality and is pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl
Digital (pre-orders include an instant download of the track New Found Land)

Richard Barbieri online:
http://www.richardbarbieri.net
https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2PGdtnsImzX4HHafVwxgAQ
https://itun.es/gb/N7psi

For hi-res image downloads (media use only): http://www.kscopemusic.com/media/richard-barbieri

Press inquiries (North America): Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

richard_barbieri_8489-800pxPhoto credit: Ben Meadows