Rich Perks | Guitar Tutor | ICMP London

Dr. Rich Perks is a guitarist, composer and academic based in London. He is one of Europe’s leading exponents of the fretless electric guitar, has extensive live, studio and theatre experience in the commercial industry, and has performed all over the world. He continues to be in great demand as a session guitarist, playing much contemporary, experimental, improvised and world music. His debut album 'Imposition' (2009) received critical acclaim and his music has been performed internationally. 

Rich completed a PhD at Brunel University in 2013, submitting a portfolio of compositions and an accompanying thesis entitled 'Combining Musical Identities through Composition and Improvisation'; this practice-based research addressed the construction of compositional methodologies for improvising musicians, primarily working with performers from non-congruent musical backgrounds and cultures.

Prior to this he was awarded an MMus in Contemporary Music from Brunel University, a first-class BMus in Popular Music Performance from the Guitar Institute (London College of Music) and a first-class BSc in Mathematics from the University of Southampton. He has studied guitar with Shaun Baxter and Mike Outram; composition with Christopher Fox, Colin Riley and Peter Weigold; improvisation with Richard Barrett; and songwriting with Ray Davies (The Kinks). 

Rich has performed throughout the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia (including shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Eldfesten, Dunestock, Le Grand Sport, New Morning, The Mod Club, The El Rey Theatre, Slim's, and the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire). Theatre credits include professional productions of 'We Will Rock You', 'The Little Shop of Horrors', 'Grease', 'Dirty Dancing', 'The Rocky Horror Show', 'Mamma Mia', 'Aladdin', 'Sleeping Beauty', and 'Our House'.

His improvisation-based group vLookup Trio have performed across the UK and Europe; comprising Andy Hall (trumpet), Tom Atherton (percussion) and Rich (fretless electric guitar), the band explores the sonic possibilities of an otherwise limited instrumentation by incorporating technological solutions (including instrumental augmentation, effects processing and additional live electronics). Rich also plays regularly with the Andrew Linham Jazz Orchestra and a variety of World music ensembles.

Rich's current research interests include the extended performance possibilities of the fretless electric guitar, guitar-focused musicology/analysis, the combination of composition with improvisation, and intercultural collaboration.  In 2019 he was awarded a research scholarship to visit Istanbul Technical University to exchange ideas about microtonal applications in guitar performance with Prof. Dr. Tolgahan Çoǧulu, as well as study privately with fretless guitar master Cenk Erdoǧan. Recent publications have addressed aspects of modern-day electric guitar performance and practical approaches to music-cultural hybridity.

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