Born and educated in London, Rick started messing around with drums in his mid-teens whilst recovering from the fall-out of inadequate secondary music teaching. Listening to a wide selection of musics developed a can-do attitude that grew quickly after meeting other like-minded souls. He embarked on a performing career with rock bands including The Work before diversifying his skills and experience with musicians from other traditions, and increasingly linking music with story and other art forms.

Initially self-taught on kit, he later studied Chenda temple drumming with Shankaran Marar and V.D.Nair in Kerala, south India; Berber rhythms in the Atlas mountains of Morocco and Brazilian carnival music with Sheda Baba in London.

As accompanist for education and performance dance projects, he has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh, T. Oonikrishnan and P.Jayachandran.He has also been a tutor for WOMAD and Glyndebourne and spent many years working throughout the UK with Common Lore Storytellers and Musicians, as both performer and teacher.

In 1999 Rick completed a degree (2:1) in Music Studies at SOAS in London. With regular collaborator Helen East, he has visited schools at all levels, teachers’ centres, theatres, conferences and festivals in the UK and worked in Australia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South America, Singapore and Portugal, often under the aegis of the British Council.

Rick not only performs and teaches but composes, designs soundscapes and installations and runs music sessions as psychiatric therapy.

You can hear him in performance here

Rhythm of life: Rick’s CV (Click to View)

2019

Released ‘Metabolations’  with Neil McKeown. Click here for link to the album

Ysgol-Y-Waun (Chirk, Powys) primary school residency  with Helen for Creative Partnerships Wales.

2015 – 18
Released ‘Listening for the Place’ with Neil McKeown. Click here for the video for ‘Welsh Roofer’ and here for the one for ‘The Sixties’

Black Lane Primary School residency near Wrexham, with Helen, as part of the Creative Partnerships Wales scheme (2018). Other schools projects with Helen across England and Wales.
Composed and performed music for a quintet of drummers at the Cornish Man Engine event at Blist’s Hill Open Air Museum in Ironbridge (2018)
Community drum workshops in Llanfyllin, Powys as ‘Arts on Prescription’
Led workshop for men’s dementia group in Telford (2017) and regular music making sessions with psychiatric patients at the Redwood Centre, Shrewsbury
Commissioned artist for ‘Wilding the Senses’, creating an installation of 2 slate marimbas in the gardens of the Workhouse Arts Centre, Llanfyllin, Powys (2017).
Regular drumming workshops at The Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry and hosting monthly Drum Circle
Performances with The Street Band (Oswestry) and, since 2016, the Improetry Collective (based at The Hermon).
Chaired drum-stooled Nikki Iles weekend course at Barmouth (2016 and 17) and workshop in Oswestry by saxophonist Alan Barnes (2017).

2011 – 2015
With Helen, Museum of London commission ‘Sounds of the City’ and Hakaya Festival, Jordan (2015)
With Helen, devised and performed commissioned works ‘Na Chllcied Na Chlo’ (30 performances for Literature Wales) and ‘City Fables’, a radio collage of poetry and sound for Apples and Snakes (2014)
Started regular work with Helen for Everyday Magic in London schools (2014)
First drumming workshops for psychiatric patients at The Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury (2013), leading to regular work with patients on three wards.
Start of collaboration with guitarist/composer Barry Edwards and others of interpretation of Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (2013)
Term-long music and story project with Helen at Maesydre school (2012)
Performer, recordist, archivist and editor for ‘After Offa’ community arts project (2010 – 12) Click here to read more.
Anchor/ kit drummer for annual jazz weekends with pianist Nikki Iles and guitarist Mike Walker
Started hosting own regular drum circle and performing with Oswestry based Street Band
Schools work, festivals and other performances with Helen across England and Wales, including Kensington Palace project (2013).

2006 – 2010
‘Whizz’, Creative Partnerships project with Helen at Trefonen School, Shropshire. (2010)
Originated music for animation ‘Kahanikar’ (2010)
With Helen, wrote and started performing ‘The Woodcutter’s Wife’, music and story piece for adults
Ran drum workshops including as part of South Liverpool and Plas Madoc Arts Days (2008/9), for Artists in Prison network, for Arty Party’s Adult Special Needs groups, at SfS conference (Cumbria) and F.A.T.E. (Shropshire).
Featured musician at Remembrance Path installation, Shrewsbury (2009)
Appeared with Helen at Solfest and Big Chill festivals (2008)
‘Unbridled’, research project and music/ story performance piece with Helen, Shonaleigh Chambers and Hassan Erraji (2007/8)
Composer and performer for 3 year River Severn Project (2006 – 9)
Work with Red Earth (Brighton) on the Jeskyns Country Park event in Kent and large scale ‘Enclosure’ event at Hambledon Hill Iron Age fort (2007)
‘Festival of Words’ (Creative Partnerships) with SLD children at Oaklands school Leicester (2007)
‘Under the Cloak’ programme touring rural Cheshire with Helen (2007)
Adaptation of the ‘Ramayana’, with Helen, for Coalport Museum, Shropshire (2007)
‘The Singing Storycloth’: book/CD collaboration with Helen for A&C Black (2006)
Created an audio installation of 3 Amazonian stories for Mythstories Museum,Wem, Shropshire (NESTA commission 2006).
Education outreach artist for the Birmingham Repertory Company (2006)
Numerous school and public events with Helen across England and Wales

2001 – 2005
Tour of South America (5 countries) with Helen, working on music and literacy (2005)
Performances and recording of ‘Beowulf’ with storyteller Hugh Lupton
Musical Director, Composer and Performer for the Unicorn Theatre’s production of ‘Rama and Sita – Path of Flames’, with musicians from India and the storytelling of Sally Pomme Clayton (2004)
Sound Designer and Performer in ‘Finders Keepers’, a Theatre Rites site specific production which was adapted to become an exhibition at the Livesey Museum, London featuring Rick’s re-edited music. (2003)
Drummer for ‘The Trodden Path’, a mixed media workshop and performance piece (2002/3)
Various chools projects with Helen and residencies in three London schools.
‘Glimpses of recognition’ CD release with singer Viv Corringham (2002)

1980 – 2000
‘One Helluva Day’, multi media commissioned work for Festival at the Edge (2000)
Musician for ‘I became part of it’, creation myth story cycle with storytellers Ben Haggarty and Hugh Lupton (2000)
Composed, played and with vocalist recorded the music for ‘White Horse Hill’, a play for BBC Radio 4, written by storyteller / writer Sally Pomme Clayton (1999)
Released first solo CD, ‘Suitable Language’ (1997)
Solo performance and composition.
Recording and touring with avant-rock groups The Work and Family Fodder
School and community projects and performances with Helen and other storytellers and creative artists.
Early member of Common Lore (inter-cultural storytellers and musicians)