My real name is Mark. I make lots of different things for the Internet and perform on-stage regularly. Barnard Star is where I put my earnest music efforts; it's not where I'm trying to be cute or funny or charming... just honest and expressive.
(The name comes from Barnard's Star, which Wikipedia tells me is a red dwarf around 6 lightyears away. I first heard about it from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)
I've been writing songs since the late 20th century. I used to improvise them into one of those long metal tape recorders with massive buttons. My dad once complimented me to someone else by saying that some of my songs were "longer than God Save the Queen".
I sing and play the piano, so pretty much everything you hear on my tracks is recorded with a keyboard. I wish I'd had the patience to learn the guitar, but I love gathering around a piano and getting everyone to sing along.
I believe my strengths as a musician lie in knowing where the heart strings are, and figuring out how to tweak them without the result being too cloying. I describe my work as earnest because it doesn't have a veneer of irony to it. I make music to express myself, and hope that others will enjoy it... which is what everyone says, right?
I live in Birmingham with two cats, and my neighbour regularly complains about the noise from the piano. The cats are indifferent.