Richard Barbieri (born 30 November 1957) is an English musician, composer and sound designer. Originally a member of new wave band Japan (and their brief 1989–1991 reincarnation as Rain Tree Crow), more recently he is known as the keyboard player in the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, which he joined in 1993.
He participated in the London musical renewal of the seventies, with the emergence of the punk, glam rock and New Wave currents. Barbieri began his musical career with the group Japan (1974-1982) formed in 1974. Japan has recorded five studio albums, of which the latest, Tin Drum, remained at the top of the UK album classification for a year. They were one of the most successful bands in Europe and Asia in 1982.
Barbieri continued to collaborate with David Sylvian, playing on the latter’s first solo albums (and 1988 tour In Praise Of Shamans). During this time he worked alongside other innovators such as Holger Czukay, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Robert Fripp. In 1984 he started a long musical collaboration with another Japan musician, Steve Jansen. They produced six albums. In late 1989, the members of Japan (minus guitarist Rob Dean) came together under the name Rain Tree Crow to produce new recordings for Virgin.
In 1993 Barbieri formed the Medium Productions label with Jansen and Karn. Thirteen albums were released over a ten year period. The collaboration of Jansen and Barbieri with DJ Takemura in the Changing Hands album is one of the artistic peaks of those years. During this time Barbieri released two more albums, one with his wife Suzanne J. Barbieri as Indigo Falls (1996), and one with No-Man’s Tim Bowness called Flame (1994).
In late 1993, Barbieri joined the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree (having previously played as a guest performer on the Up the Downstair album). The band released eight studio albums with progressively growing success in the hit parade.