Time Travel







Tribal Gathering - By Brad Anderson
Issue #3, 1997

The Mystical World of Richard Bone
and QuirkWorks Laboratory

     Let’s just start off by saying that Richard Bone is not only a brilliant musician but an artist who find the creative edge in spirituality. Having grown up in Savannah Georgia, spent some critical years in N.Y.C’s Greenwich Village, and now settled down in Providence, Rhode Island, Richard Bone has seen all aspects of the music industry inside and out. His interest in electronica was initiated early on through his affinity for science fiction and all things spacey. Bone saw himself gravitating away from typical rock music and being drawn towards artists like Erasure and John K who in the early 80’s were knitting the material that is today’s fabric of electronica.

     “It all started really back in 1967-1968 with Joseph Byrd’s “United States of America” states Bone. “Byrd was my first true introduction to state of the art electronics used in a rock format without guitars. I went through three copies of that album because it was so good. He followed up that album with ”American Metaphysical Circus” that continued the use of electronics however with a slight classical tinge. Both albums set me in motion and compelled me to track Joseph Byrd down and tell him how influential he was to me. I finally found him in California and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He has had some very kind words about my electronic accomplishments and actually sent me the original lead sheet from one of the songs off the 'United States of America' album, autographed. Basically everything has come full circle.”

     Bone’s music itself is not only original, but very personal. Many artists sit down and consciously hammer away at their synthesizers and drum machines to effectively develop a vibe. Bone taps into the subconscious through meditation to develop his arrangements and patterns. “Meditation and Metaphysics has shaped everything musically for me." Prior to each session in the studio, Bone enters into a meditative state where he draws upon an energy that allows him to create intense ambient ballads. “The music comes from an intangible source which is them transmitted through me. The music born is thus improvisational and natural in form.”

     Bone’s seemingly unorthodox style of musical creation exists as well in his sampling choices. “A main source of samples that I use come from the local library”, states Bone. “I just close my eyes, pick two cassette tapes at random, bring them home and go to work. Some of the vocal samples on “Vox Orbita” were recorded previously at QuirkWorks Laboratory. I just went back through the archives and pooled together bits and pieces of vocals and began splicing them to my tracks.”

     Looking at Richard Bone’s extensive indie discography showcasing his key albums “Vox Orbita” and “Metaphysic Mambo”, and his two year stint with Chrysalis UK. one would think that an artist of this magnitude would be touring quite extensively. “Not so”, remarks Bone. “I’m primarily studio based now. When I lived in New York City many years ago, I played for a very successful (at the time) band called Shox Lumania. We were the first release on the ROIR label, and had great success touring around the region. However, I was working on the side with electronic music and produced a single that was picked up by Chrysalis in France and in England on the underground scene. I ultimately decided that this was the route I wanted to take musically and left Shox Lumania”. The partnership between Bone and Chrysalis ended when they asked him to compromise his experimental aspirations and trade them for the Spandeau Ballet sound. According to Bone, “I will only play live if one of two situations present themselves, the first being an ambient installation in a small coffeehouse setting, and the second being to score an artist exhibition in a gallery.” Then and only then will the world be able to experience the ambient rhythms of Richard Bone.

      Richard Bone’s plans for the next few months are exciting and event filled running his label and expanding the boundaries of electronica. He is releasing a mini-compilation on March 17th called “A Survey of Remembered Things” featuring five tracks by Bone and four tracks from long time friend an electronic drummer John Orsi. Bone’s portion of the EP is called “Seashore of Other Worlds” and Orsi’s is designated as “Shiftworkers Confused by Rain.”

     Totally new material for the next album is the prime focus for the fall as Bone ventures down another avenue of electronica. “The new material that I’m working on has a very mystical story behind it”, adds Bone. “I was in a Strawberries not too long ago and to avoid a cluster of people on one aisle, I took a short cut through another to get to the jazz section. Upon making the maneuver, a disc literally flung itself out at me and landed at my feet. I understood this as some sort of cosmic sign and brought the album home, where I immediately fell in love with it. Antonio Carlos Jobim was the musician, and I spent much time researching and collecting his style of latino jazz in hopes of understanding it and using it to my musical advantage”. Bone’s next release, tentatively entitled “Brazilliance", will contain ambient textures mixed with strong elements of Brazilian latin jazz.

- Brad Anderson -