Tuesday, 20 May 2014

'Cycling Music'

When we saw that Richard Durrant, concert guitarist, (who is doing his current UK tour by bike, towing his guitar and all his equipment in a trailer) was coming to our local arts centre, we knew it was one gig we couldn't miss. Other members of Spindles and Sprockets, the local community bike workshop, also turned out in force, and gave Richard's bike a good service before he left Corsham for Swindon the next day.

Cycling to all the tour venues with his trusty friend Sean combines several things for Richard. It reduces the large carbon footprint that he would usually generate from travelling, allows him to indulge his passion for bikes (which is also expressed in his new album Cycling Music) and generates funds for the Big C drop-in centre for cancer patients in Norfolk and Waverley (Sean's partner died from cancer last year and 20% of the funds from the tour are going towards the charity).

The gig was a real musical treat. Richard calls himself a concert guitarist rather than a classical guitarist because his music crosses all boundaries, and this was certainly the case last Friday evening. The music we heard included pieces by Barrios, a Paraguayan composer, and Bach, as well as music composed by Richard himself. (Any Canadian readers may be familiar with Wilbury Summer, which he played for us, as it is (or was?) used for the Canadian weather forecast!)

The centrepiece of the show was Richard's new 29 minute composition Cycling Music which he describes as minimalist in style (in his own words - using a few notes to create a lot of music). As well as the guitar, the music features other sound effects or bike percussion! A feature of Richard's work is also the use of projected images which enhance the music. This time using no big screen or projector (too heavy to carry on the bike) but still beautiful even when shown on a small laptop.

The show is touring all through May and June, building up to some gigs in Yorkshire which will coincide with the start of the Tour de France there. 

To see if Richard Durrant is cycling to a venue near you check out his website here.


  1. That sounds like a fantastic performance, Sarah! I'll check out the YouTube. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've heard a lot of music compositions using sounds from different things. I think I like the bike sounds the best of what I've heard.

  3. Pity he's not coming to the North West. Sounds good and husband is keen fan of both cycling and guitar concerts.