Award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist and bassist of the band Dutch Uncles, Robin Richards was bitten by the music bug at the tender age of seven when he was given his first guitar, and has continued to feed his passion for composing and playing ever since. In 2004, Robin and his four closest school friends began playing together to later become Dutch Uncles. He has composed the music and arranged the orchestral instrumentation for the band's four albums to date (Dutch Uncles - 2008, Cadenza - 2011, Out Of Touch In The Wild - 2013, O Shudder - 2015).
In 2011, Robin graduated from The University of Salford with a first class honours degree in Music, specialising in composition and arranging. He studied under esteemed composer and conductor, Joe Duddell, famed for his work with Elbow and James, and it was at the university where Robin received two awards, The Elgar Howarth Composition Shield in 2010 and The Award for Innovative Audience Engagement in 2011 for his football World Cup themed composition, 'Fabio Acapella'. Robin's composition style uses rhythmic, melodic and mathematical themes to realise a concept, taking influence from composers such as Steve Reich and Igor Stravinsky, and more contemporary artists such as Kate Bush, Tears For Fears and Talking Heads.
Robin's first solo composition project to be released was 'Washington Trapeze', an intricate chamber piece based on the most technically demanding form of circus acts. A live performance of the composition was premiered at Festival Number 6 in Portmeirion in September 2013.
In 2015, he was commissioned by Manchester arts and cinema space HOME for the opening weekend of their Music and Film season. In a collaboration with the RNCM, Robin composed an original score for Hungarian director Paul Fejos 1928 film, 'Lonesome'. Two sold out screenings of the film, accompanied by a live performance of the new score took place on the 24th and 25th of May 2015.
His latest project is a ’Birdsong - Stories from Pripyat’, a 40-minute film and live score in collaboration with visual artist Clara Casian, based on first hand testimonies of evacuees and liquidators cleaning the contaminated land following the Chernobyl disaster on 26th April 1986. The project uses a novel, holistic and integrated interpretation of personal accounts alongside scientific and historical material, underpinned by nuclear research and archival footage sourced from Dovzhenko Centre, Kiev. The score will be performed live with a chamber ensemble at related venues in North West England, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
Supported by The University of Salford, Arts Council England and HOME Manchester
Friday 30th September - ‘Birdsong - Stories from Pripyat’ @ HOME, Manchester
w/Premiere of ‘Wizard’, short film by Nicholas Middleton and Remi Weekes with score by Robin Richards
Thursday 6th October - ‘Birdsong - Stories from Pripyat’ @ The Plaza, Stockport
w/Celluloid History Songs’ by Josephine Oniyama
Friday 7th October - ‘Birdsong - Stories from Pripyat’ @ Peel Hall, Salford
w/Music and film masterclass and Q&A with Clara Casian and Robin Richards