pen pastwn

pen pastwn


Eclectic mix of influences, mainly folk, world music, psychedelia, experimental electronica, melded into an original sound and composing style. Always openminded. Recently developing a mix of British/American/World(mainly African) guitar composing style.


RICHARD JAMES ( Musician, Composer )

Richard James has been writing, recording and performing music for over two decades : Initially as a core member of the seminal group, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (formed with his schoolmates Euros Childs and John Lawrence ) and laterally as a solo artist.

His remarkable career and musicality is typified by its ‘arms wide open’ approach to all kinds of music and musical forms. It is this, allied to his consummate and beautiful technical skill that has garnered his reputation as a very special talent.

Even the briefest overview of his band, Gorky’s, and their wonderful, relentlessly creative and prolific career (recording, releasing and performing their music to international acclaim) clearly shows why they were (and still are) so beloved, revered and influential.

Richard is currently living and making music in Cardiff.
He has released three solo albums to date , ‘Pictures in the Morning’ being the more recent, released in April 2012 on the Gwymon label.

His first solo album – ‘The Seven Sleeper’s Den’ was a collection of love songs and spacey instrumentals sung in English and occasionally Welsh. It was vigorously embraced by critics and audiences alike.
Somebody said that it ‘sounded like the Velvet Underground with the ratio of New Yorkers to Welsh people reversed’ – and they weren’t too far wrong.

In 2010 he released his second solo album - a multi-layered and more expansive collection of songs entitled ‘We Went Riding’.
“A warm and irresistible trove of delights” - littered with fabulous poppy hooks and folk textures, gently invoking the spirit of Gene Clarke and Brian Wilson.
It was created together with long time producer/collaborator Iwan Morgan (aka Recall) and features gorgeous collaborations with some of Cardiff’s finest musicians.

In September 2010, Richard and former Gorky's band-mate and collaborator Euros Childs were commissioned to write music for two short animated films by the Russian animator, Yuri Norstein, 'The Hedgehog in the Fog' and 'The Fox and the Hare'. They did two live performances of the soundtrack at the Branchage festival in Jersey; one at the opera house and one in a church in St Helier.

Richard has written commissioned music for two Welsh language children's series, 'Y fet a fi' and 'Anifeiliaid a fi', both broadcast on S4C, and worked closely with the production company Tinopolis in the process.

He is also the curator of the musical side of the Laugharne Literary Festival ; an annual celebration of literature, art and music which attracts an astonishing array of performers, authors and poets to a small village in West Wales.

His latest venture is a monthly multimedia event called In Chapters featuring brand new collaborations with a range of musical, film and literary talent, all creating new works based around a different theme each time. These events have been performed at The Green Man Festival, The Laugharne Weekend Festival, Dinefwr Literature Festival as well as regular evenings at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff since January 2010. Richard has also been curating and performing music for events in the cinema tent at The Green Man festival in 2010 and 2011.

Richard is currently also working on a trilogy of songs, instrumentals and sound collages and an album of Welsh folk songs and instrumentals.

Richard has also been working as a freelance tutor for organisations throughout Wales such as Community Music Wales, Groundwork Wales and Menter Iaith, tutoring and mentoring young people in musicianship and composing in Welsh and English.



Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
Patio (1993)
Tatay (1994)
Bwyd Time (1995)
Barafundle (1997)
Gorky 5 (1998)
Spanish Dance Troupe (1999)
Blue Trees (2000)
How I Long to Feel that Summer in my Heart (2001)
Sleep/Holiday (2003)

Richard James Solo. L.P's.
The Seven Sleepers Den (2006)
We Went Riding (2010)
Pictures in the Morning (2012)
In France (2011)