Composer and digital projects producer Richard Birkin is launching his new app and EP Songs for Spoken Words this month. The project combines music, poetry and technology to create a new multidisciplinary experience for the listener for both live performances and personal listening.
Using sexual melancholy poetry as the inspiration for the music, the EP is a soundtrack to the collection of poetry. You can read the words of the poetry whilst you are listening, through the app.
Whether you’re commuting through the city, waiting in a café or just relaxing at home, you can tailor your listening experience to suit you. Richard has even developed new technology Rubato that allows the app to sync with smart-phones in the live performance. Try the app here: http://songsforspokenwords.com/
Both a composer and producer of specialist and experimental digital projects, Richard Birkin uses inspiration from the world around him to create soundtracks – both real and imagined – which are accompanied by unique pieces of technology. These miniature installations provide a secondary level to the music using words and imagery to supply a further insight into the inspiration behind the music.
Before establishing himself foremost as a composer, Birkin performed in several bands, including, most notably, the recently disbanded Crash of Rhinos, who shaped the sounds of posthardcore, emo and post-rock, in new and unconventional ways. Whilst composing arrangements for the bands, Birkin would add piano parts and use a cello bow on bass guitars in the studio, determined to recreate the layered ‘orchestral’ effect that he could hear in his head.
Before long, Birkin was composing scores that were unable to comply with the style of his bands, so he embarked on producing an album of compositions – A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets, a soundtrack to his hometown of Derby where it was also recorded. Composer and producer Nils Frahm mixed and mastered the album in Berlin.
A variety of Birkin’s works have been used for television and online advertising, including a campaign for Emporio Armani, YMCA Derbyshire and the Government Digital Service. He has also been commissioned to produce several original soundtracks for film. Birkin’s most notable project Night Sun is a piece for string quartet and toy music box, supplemented by photography and a story that is animated on a projection (or a screen via the web app).
The project was commissioned by Nottingham City Council for their citywide ‘Light Night’ event. Birkin then developed the app to accompany the single and began working on a larger project. Building on the technology developed for Night Sun, Birkin’s upcoming project Songs for Spoken Words, which is funded by Arts Council England/National Lottery Grant For Arts, uses web coding to animate poetry with music and photography on a screen or in the palm of your hand through a smart-phone app.
Songs for Spoken Words will be available to purchase from February 2015. Richard will be performing at the Apple Store, Regent Street, February 24th.