Richard J. Birkin


About Richard J. Birkin


Richard Birkin is a recording artist and composer for TV & Film. His work has been recorded/ performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra quartet, ISKRA Strings and Sinfonia Viva players; recorded at Abbey Road Studio 2 and Nils Frahm’s Durton Studio; featured in the Sky Atlantic/Canal+ series The Young Pope starring Jude Law; and licensed by Armani, BBC and NASA.
 Vigils LP (2016, Reveal Records)

Sync: ‘Night Sun’ used in two episodes of The Young Pope (Sky Atlantic/Canal+ starring Jude Law) 2.3 million Spotify streams.
‘Vigil I’ used as the theme tune to the BBC Radio 4 series The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor.

“Instant-classic in feeling: an essential, beautiful, alive, thrilling record.” – Norman Records

“Like so many of the best things about Vigils itself, it’s this humbleness and muted brilliance that make it so satisfying.” – The Quietus

A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets LP (2011, Triste Records, ITA)

Mixed and Mastered by (and featuring) Nils Frahm.
Sync: ‘A Lullaby Hum’ licenced for Emporio Armani’s 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign.

Production Music
Title TBC (2018)
Commissioned by Globe Creative (Universal) & Recorded at Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Contemporary Orchestra.
This album of Production Music also features Michael Price and Samuel Sim.
Contemporary Cinematic (2017, Soundpocket/Universal) Listen
Syncs: BBC Horizon, The Sky at Night, NASA YouTube + more.

Edith (short film) 2017, Mint Productions 
Starring Peter Mullan and Michelle Fairley. Written by Ray Robinson (Electricity). Directed by Christian Cooke.
Awards: Best Short (Norwich Film Festival, Enginuity Awards, Indieboom!)
Reservoir 13 (novel)
A soundtrack for live readings of the 2017 Costa Novel Award Winner by Jon McGregor. 2 x CNN Great Big Story (commercial shorts)
Twinklebox (animated short)

(Reveal Records)

​​THE ARTS DESK - "Enjoy Birkin's ability to squeeze maximum impact from slender, shrewdly-chosen musical resources.The five piano-led Vigils are the most instantly appealing; that you can hear the piano and stool creaking during "Vigil II' adds to its charm, and the use of strings in "Vigil III" is charming but never cheesy."

IRISH TIMES - "It is the dreamers that make life truly interesting, and Vigils is full of dream-like music. Inspired by science journals, writers Haruki Murakami and Dalton Trumbo, and the elements enveloping his countryside studio, Birkin concocts a compelling series of mostly instrumental, minimalistic pieces. Vigils I/II/III/V/VI contain the essence of primary sonic moderators (Brian Eno, Johann Johannsson, Nils Frahm), while the likes of Moonbathing, Night Sun, and A History of Good Ghosts highlight Birkin’s own special skills at setting plaintive moods to music." (Tony Clayton-Lea)

QUIETUS - "Like so many of the best things about Vigils itself, it's this humbleness and muted brilliance that make so satisfying."

ANTHEM REVIEW - 10/10 "The album also provoked one infuriating notion to form somewhere between the haunting wonders of ‘Night Sun’; that no matter the emphasis or nuances placed upon these words, they will never truly convey the brilliance and ghostly magic of ‘Vigils’, and so the review simple becomes this. Buy ‘Vigils’, play it again and again until every delicate note has soaked your soul, and then go thank Richard J. Birkin profusely for his gift."

NATIVE MONSTER - 4/5 review "...a series of short, sharp trips through the musical stratosphere. And that is the real beauty of the record. Nothing is overlong. Everything ends just where it should and you feel something extra may have been added to elongate it. This is a very hard skill indeed. It sits very easily between a feeling of half-finished and a sense of dragging it out, and deserves recognition."

COLLECTIVE ZINE - "...eleven wonderfully arranged, spectral melodies that float out of the speakers and haunt the room like wraiths."

AURAL AGGRAVATION - "Time is but a construct measured in lived experience, and subtly, subliminally, by implication and by simply side-stepping stylistic trappings of past, present or imagined future, Richard J. Birkin captures all of this in a beautiful, poised and soothing collection of work."

MECCALECCA (US) - recommendation "...underhyped treasure"

BEARDED MAGAZINE - review "Solo album Vigils digs more into the realms of sound art and in-depth composition rather than a songwriter style angle, and it’s quite frankly struck gold. Inventive and intricate guitar and piano work take turns to lead the way while groundbreakingly atmospheric strings shimmer over the arrangements and characterise the sound to transform the music into the sonic wonder that it is."

DROWNED IN SOUND - 8/10 "It is economic in length, but never in its application or reach. Its minimalism is never dull or slight and every song is fully realised; its discretion tantalisingly leaves you wanting more. Vigils is light and airy, but it has solid emotional purchase and is a fine addition to the piano music tradition. A small miracle it most certainly is."

LOUDER THAN WAR - live review "Richard J. Birkin looped his voice into a one-man choir, I was moved to tears."

FLUID RADIO - review "A confident, mature work of contemporary chamber music. Chamber music because, as the title suggests, it evokes small spaces and contemplation; a record to live with. Beautifully recorded and played, Vigils is an exciting addition to Birkin’s expanding discography. Where he goes next should be very interesting."

Management & Booking Tom Rose
Label Reveal Records
Publishing Sentric Music

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