A concert guitarist who will visit Fakenham this Sunday has taken his entire show on the road, undertaking a 1,000-mile Cycling Music tour with just his bike, panniers and trailer.
Travelling from his home in Sussex, Richard Durrant is aiming to reduce his carbon footprint and raise money for charity, with 20 per cent of his fees donated to The Big C Drop-in Centre in Norwich.
For his career as a professional musician Durrant estimates he travels in excess of 35,000 miles with UK tours, trips into Europe and an annual visit to South America.
He said: “Touring musicians tend to leave a fairly massive carbon footprint – so for me this is payback time. Having been a regular cyclist for years I wanted to see where a tour by bike would take me, both geographically and musically.”
While planning and training for the tour, Richard has been writing and recording his new album, Cycling Music, which he calls an atmospheric blend of acoustic and minimalist music. He said: “Riding a bike is totally inspirational and my cycle training has been key to these new compositions.”
His expressiveness on the guitar can be heard alongside sequencers and a percussion section built from bicycle parts, which he jokingly describes as “Steve Reich meets Bradley Wiggins”.
Richard said: “The physical aspects of the tour are very high tech, so I wanted to match this with my compositional processes. I write the music in my head on the bike each day then type the notes when I get home.
“I then add the guitars and bicycle sounds and finish the arrangement. It is a fascinating process that has produced music that seems to travel along, cycling as it goes.”
Richard is used to long rides but will be limiting himself to 60 miles a day to make sure his hands are still fit for playing his guitar. This is a big ask as Richard has always been a virtuosic player who makes huge technical and physical demands both on himself and on his instrument.
This innovative musician has made a name for himself touring his ever changing solo show throughout the world, but Cycling Music will be his most intriguing musical adventure yet. The show uses beautiful projections, lights and amplification all carried on the bikes. Onstage the bikes themselves become lighting stands, at times the guitar is a projection screen and on occasion Richard’s LED bike headlamp becomes the main spotlight.
He said: “Packing for this tour is a scientific operation, and it just wouldn’t be possible without using the very latest high tech gear. From the live online tracking and video blogs to the creaseproof smart clothes, LED lights and tiny PA – its a totally 21st century tour.”
Richard will be bringing his show to Fakenham Community Centre on Sunday, from 7.30pm, tickets cost £10 and are available from 01328 855172, online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/101439 or from Sweets-n-Things in Fakenham.