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Dr Richard Perks

Lecturer in Music Performance

 

Richard has extensive live, studio and theatre experience in the commercial industry and continues to be in great demand as a session guitarist.

Rich has extensive live, studio and theatre experience in the commercial industry. He has toured internationally with many accomplished artists and continues to be in great demand as a session guitarist. His debut solo album Imposition was released in 2009 and received critical acclaim. He has also worked with many contemporary music ensembles, predominantly playing fretless electric guitar.

Rich has studied guitar with Shaun Baxter and Mike Outram; improvisation with Richard Barrett; composition with Christopher Fox, Peter Weigold and Colin Riley; and songwriting with Ray Davies. He has a PhD from Brunel University specialising in the accommodation of improvisation within compositions. Prior to this he was awarded a Masters Degree in Contemporary Music from Brunel University, a First Class Bachelors Degree in Popular Music Performance from the internationally acclaimed Guitar Institute in London and a First Class Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from the University of Southampton.

Rich is currently touring with the Ali Azimi band and performs regularly with his improvisation based group vLookup Trio as well as The Andrew Linham Jazz Orchestra.

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Rich is interested in combining through-written material with elements of improvisation, to varying degrees, working with different ensembles. He is particularly enthusiastic about producing works which accommodate the improvisatory identities of musicians from non-congruent musical backgrounds and cultures.

Current, ongoing and future research projects/events include:

+ Fretless Architecture: An Exploration of the Fretless Electric Guitar. The development of performance repertoire, new techniques and original notation, specific to the fretless electric guitar; the use of an array of effects pedals, loops, Ebow etc. to explore new timbre possibilities; International calls for scores (for solo fretless electric guitar); developing relationships with composers in order to discover the full potential of the instrument; exploring the use of the instrument practically in broader contexts, including cultural approaches, improvisation, different ensemble formations etc.

+ vLookup Trio. Comprised of Rich Perks (fretless electric guitar), Andrew Hall (trumpet) and Tom Atherton (percussion), the vLookup Trio explore pieces which combine pre-composed material with improvisation in styles that range from avant-garde noise to funk-rock, whilst also pushing the sonic possibilities of a trio instrumentation by incorporating effects and live electronics.

+ The incorporation of improvisation within through-written material across a variety of genres, idioms, cultural-approaches and ensembles.

Past research projects/events include:


+ Fretless Architecture: An Exploration of the Fretless Electric Guitar.
- In March 2016, Rich gave a lecture-recital at the International Guitar Research Centre's annual conference, University of Surrey. Here he discussed his latest research findings and performed several pieces including the premier of Divisions 2, a piece for solo fretless electric guitar, composed by Andrew Hall specifically for this conference.

- International call for scores (for solo fretless electric guitar), in conjunction with Colchester New Music. Performance carried out on 5th November 2015 at Colchester Arts Center, where five selected new works were premiered by Rich.

+ The Series:
A collection of works composed for solo wind and brass instruments. Box of Serial for Flute was selected from Primavera's call for new scores in 2011 and was premiered by the internationally acclaimed flautist Nancy Ruffer.

+ In 2009 Rich released his debut album entitled Imposition, which received critical acclaim.

+ Rich was previously awarded a PhD from Brunel University, studying under supervisors Colin Riley and Peter Wiegold, which addressed the construction of compositional methodologies for improvising musicians. His portfolio of compositions and accompanying thesis was entitled Combining Musical Identities Through Composition and Improvisation.

 

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Rich leads performance modules for popular music students. He also teaches Songwriting 1, runs Band Forum and contributes to School Choir and Band rehearsals.

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Last Updated: 12/09/2016