The Skinny magazine, July 11 issue
John Diliberto, Echoes
Frank and Amy, BBC Radio Wales
Following on from his 2009 debut album ‘This Is What I Live For, which featured Grammy-winner Davy Spillane (Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Van Morrison) and members of the Hallé orchestra, Richard’s second release, “Imperfect Beauty”, further develops his blend of contemporary and classical music, and again sees the composer teaming up with the Hallé orchestra (Britain’s longest-established professional symphony orchestra), whose musicianship brings Richard’s intricate compositions to life.
From the tranquil surroundings of his studio in rural Somerset, Richard, writing, arranging and producing all the tracks himself, has again crafted an album centered around live players rather than synths and computers – a relative rarity for modern albums.
There can’t be many composers who’ve been heard on stations as diverse as Kiss, BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and 6 Music, but with his unique brand of classical fusion, Richard Anthony Jay is one such composer. Influenced by the likes of Michael Nyman, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil and Henry Mancini, Richard began his musical career at the age of 16, working as a sound engineer in numerous studios.
Wanting to focus more on the music and less on the technology, he quickly made the transition from engineer to producer and songwriter, and has since worked across many different genres. Signed to Universal, his music has also been used in movie trailers, and shows like NCIS, The Culture Show and even Formula One Grand Prix.
As someone who taught himself everything he knew about music, working with trained musicians for the new album presented some challenges when Richard realised he hadn’t taught himself how to read and write music notation! Recording sessions with the Manchester-based Hallé players were conducted remotely, Richard with a stack of music theory textbooks never far from his side!