Studio 2 and The Three Pianos

5th August 2018

I was back in Abbey Road Studio 2 last week to record a number of pieces for a piano-centric album, on a soon-to-be-announced brand new production music library.

We worked with pianist Nathan Williamson and London Contemporary Orchestra arranger Hugh Brunt, and had the choice of three pianos:

Steinway Grand
Mrs. Mills (Steinway Upright) - with optional cotton treatment
Challen upright - with optional felt treatment

So with those treatment options we could layer up five different piano sounds. The mics on each piano were piped into the Studio 2 echo chamber, and also back into a vintage EMI TG12345 for a saturated signal. Oh, and then back into the isolation booths for re-amping in vintage VOX amps.

We were pretty spoiled for choice, and Nathan was a fantastic performer for all composers involved.

Reservoir 13 - Radio 4 Book At Bedtime

26th April 2018

Richard's track 'Vigil VI' is the soundtrack to the BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime version of Jon McGregor's novel Reservoir 13 (Costa Novel of the Year 2018).

This follows Richard writing an original soundtrack for the novel, commissioned by the author to take on tour. Richard's track Vigil I soundtracking The Reservoir Tapes, also for BBC Radio 4.

Both Vigil I and Vigil VI are available on the album Vigils (Reveal Records, 2016)

Reservoir 13 on BBC Radio 4 More about Reservoir 13

Abbey Road Studio 2 and London Contemporary Orchestra

24th January 2018

I spent the first week of 2018 in London recording at the mighty Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Contemporary Orchestra players (string quartet + piano).

Man, what a place. What a reverb! What a microphone collection!

I'll be heading back here every couple of months to complete new recordings for different albums of production music for a brand new library.

BBC Radio 4 presents 'The Reservoir Tapes'

3rd October 2017

Earlier this year I wrote a soundtrack for Jon McGregor's new (and Booker-longlisted) novel Reservoir 13, published by 4th Estate. Shortly after the release of the novel, BBC Radio 4 commissioned Jon to create 15 prequel stories for radio.

The episodes air at 19:45 every Sunday (starting the Sunday just gone) and feature music taken from my album Vigils.

"A series of specially-commissioned stories on BBC Radio 4, The Reservoir Tapes returns to the territory of the Booker-longlisted Reservoir 13, revealing the web of connections that bind us, and the many layers on which we all build our truths."

The first episode, Charlotte's Story, is read by Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) and available to listen to now on iPlayer Radio and iTunes.

A book containing versions of the 15 stories will be released in December this year.

Acts of Kindness (Soundtrack)

21st September 2017

Had the pleasure of working with director James Sharpe again for this film made by CNN's Create Studios for Great Big Story.

It's about a couple on holiday in Japan who have a bit of a marital crisis. Their marriage is saved, and their world view changed forever by a simple act of kindness by a total stranger.

Grawlix String Arrangements

15th September 2017

Over the summer I've been writing the strings for Grawlix's dreamy third album 'Appendix', due out next year on Reckless Yes.

A couple of weeks ago we recorded the arrangements with a quartet of players from Derby's Sinfonia Viva. Here's some shots of the session taken by Russell Deirdre:

Vigil I - Live

2nd December 2016

This Autumn I put together a trio to see how we could perform songs from Vigils without a string quartet. We emptied out my studio and worked on the lighting too. It's really nice to play these pieces with other people too, since they were all written in isolation.

CNN Great Big Story

16th November 2016

This month I wrote a new piece for a special short documentary for CNN's Great Big Story. It's a piece for piano, string trio, acoustic guitar and synth.

The film follows a food blogger taking a "spirited journey to Kyoto's most isolated restaurant" and features some wonderful traditional style Japanese animation by Studio 4°C.

Read more here.

BBC Radio 3 Open Ear Concert

7th November 2016

On Friday I was down in London at St. John at Hackney, performing live at BBC Radio 3's Open Ear Concert. The show was live on air, and you can listen back here. I was performing using my new Modern Music Box, Twinklr. You can read more about that here. I played two tracks: 1. A live solo reworking of one of my string quartet pieces, Night Sun, from Vigils. 2. An improvisation, starting with a blank screen on Twinklr, adding notes as I went along. That was a nice feeling - creating a sparse and innocent tune on the spot in a darkened church full of people.