With over 20 albums to his name, Robert Rich has helped define the genres of ambient music, dark-ambient, tribal and trance, yet his music remains hard to categorize. Part of his unique sound comes from using home-made acoustic and electronic instruments, microtonal tunings, computer-based signal processing, chaotic systems and feedback networks. Rich began building his own analog synthesizers in 1976, when he was 13 years old, and later studied for a year at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).
Rich released his first album Sunyata in 1982. Most of his subsequent recordings came out in Europe until 1989, when Rich began a string of critically acclaimed releases for Fathom/Hearts of Space, including Rainforest (1989), Gaudí (1991), Propagation (1994) and Seven Veils (1998). His two collaborations with Steve Roach, Strata (1990) and Soma (1992), both charted for several months in Billboard. Other collaborations include Yearning (1995, with Lisa Moskow), Stalker (1995, with B. Lustmord) and Fissures (1997, with Alio Die.) Rich's contributions to multi-artist compilations have been collected on his solo albums A Troubled Resting Place (1996) and Below Zero (1998). He also records with his group, Amoeba, exploring atmospheric songcraft on their CDs Watchful (1997) and Pivot (2000). His 3-CD live set Humidity (2000) documents the unique improvised flow of his recent performances.
Rich has performed in caves, cathedrals, planetaria, art galleries and concert halls throughout Europe and North America. His all-night Sleep Concerts, first performed in 1982, became legendary in the San Francisco area. In 1996 he revived his all-night concert format, playing Sleep Concerts for live and radio audiences across the U.S. during a three month tour. In 2001 Rich released the 7 hour DVD Somnium, a studio distillation of the Sleep Concert experience, possibly the longest continuous piece of music ever released.
Rich has designed sounds for television and film scores, including the films Pitch Black , Crazy Beautiful, and others. He also works closely with electronic instrument manufacturers, and his sound design has graced the preset libraries of Emu's Proteus 3 and Morpheus, Seer Systems' Reality, sampling disks Things that Go Bump in the Night and ACID Loop Library Liquid Planet. Rich has written software for composers who work in just intonation, and he helped develop the MIDI microtuning specification, which was accepted as an industry standard. As a mastering engineer, he has applied his ear to numerous albums in recent years, and his studio was featured in the September '99 issue of Keyboard Magazine.
For more information about Robert Rich, visit his website at www.rrich.com
***** * *****
"Robert Rich's recordings are fast becoming
recognized as pioneering works, having taken electronic music to
previously unrealized levels of innovation."
"A music-scape that oozes with primitive life, as
if pulsing from the swamp itself. . . A time traveller searching for the
aperture that looks back to Eden."
"Countless, beautiful, diverse, intense,
evocative, innovative, lavish, awesome soundscapes."
"Nothing, not one note, seems out of place or
contrived. . .A bright and attractive fusion of the ancient and the modern,
a bold groundbreaking musical statement."
"Like listening to sonic architecture. . . Rich's
structures are geometrical, yet organic."
"This is surely the stuff that fantasies are made