Prima Facie

CDs with online ordering

Choral Music by Rick Birley, Volume 1 (PFCD232)

The Rick Birley Singers, conducted by Richard Gowers
Streaming and digital download release available now - CD available soon

This is the second in a series of releases featuring the music of Rick Birley.

Available from Apple Music, Spotify and other services.

Missa Brevis

Kyrie
Gloria
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei

Gaudete, Gaudete!


My Bonny Cuckoo


Advent Carol Succession


Head and shoulders painting of Rick Birley, by lake

Rick Birley

Rick Birley wearing glasses and cap
Rick Birley (b. 1954) is a composer of contemporary ‘classical’ music which adheres to the traditional structures of composition, making his distinctive voice vibrantly fresh yet rooted in well-established forms that render it accessible rather than disturbingly challenging. Rick studied music at UCW Aberystwyth where he gained his BMus degree and developed his piano technique under the guidance of the formidable pianist Geoffrey Buckley. He later studied education at Cambridge University and was awarded a doctorate from Southampton University in 2008. After several years as Head of Department in Comprehensive Schools Rick set up and led the Music Department at Weymouth college very successfully for 18 years. Since 2002 Rick has taught piano, theory and composition privately at home, and had the time at last to concentrate on composing. The majority of the 100+ compositions that make up Rick’s oeuvre date from 2002. The roots of Birley’s musical styles are embedded in many cultural references, including folk idioms, plainsong melody, the rhythm of poetry and the narrative of specific events in history. His language explores dissonance within tonal harmonic contexts and dynamic rhythm set into many varied but discernible beat structures (metric modulation). Through the use of sometimes complex, very personal harmonic language Birley’s music reaches expressive depths that are profound yet recognisable. He makes frequent use of counterpoint, canons & sub melodies, using varied articulations and creating fascinating textural underlays. Of primary importance, always, is melody and its development.