Charlie Barber has a deserved reputation for bringing innovative productions to audiences throughout the world. His prolific output as a composer, and talent for combining disparate musical influences and genre, have brought him acclaim and recognition outside his native Wales, making him a ‘hot to watch’ for audiences and critics alike.
He has worked in a wide variety of musical genres: orchestral and chamber works, film, video, music-theatre and dance.
In 1978 he formed the New Arts Consort, an ensemble specialising in contemporary music and multimedia, and began to study Japanese theatre music, Balinese gamelan and African drumming techniques. The New Arts Consort performed many world premieres including Sex and Death at Covent Garden (1986), a large scale orchestral, installation and promenade event which took place in the National Museum of Wales. In 1988, he formed the 12-piece ensemble, Charlie Barber + Band. The Band gave the world premieres of over twenty new works within a repertoire which covered a wide range of musical styles - from Guillaume de Machaut to John Cage and The Velvet Underground to Michael Nyman, as well as non-Western music.
Barber has collaborated on several projects with practitioners from other media including film and video makers as well as numerous works with choreographer Andy Howitt. Other dance and theatre work includes music for Extemporary Dance, Diversions Dance Company, Dawns Tan, Dundee Dance Company, Moving Being, TAG Theatre, Sherman Theatre Company and Clwyd Dance.
His concert works have been performed at Settembre Musica (Turin), Festival Internacional de Música (Portugal), Brno International Music Festival (Czech Republic), Marató de l'Espactacle (Barcelona), Hong Kong Arts Festival, Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Cardiff Music Festival, Bournemouth International Festival. Previous commissions include works for the Piano Circus, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Bingham String Quartet and Apollo Saxophone Quartet.
His recent recordings and touring projects include Ludwig, a musical tribute to Beethoven; music for Jean Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet, a surrealist classic of early cinema; Boulevard of Broken Dreams for string quartet; Afrodisiac with Seckou Keita (kora) and Chartwell Dutiro (mbira); and Salomé music for the 1923 film starring Nazimova.