Midsummer tour audiences

Richard Durrant is back home on Shoreham Beach after his Music for Midsummer tour…

The winding route of his UK solstice celebration ended in the small saxon church of St John The Baptist under the Sussex Downs last Sunday.

It was a wonderful, sunny weekend of gigs which included Richard’s biggest crowd yet at the Brighton Open Air Theatre – a concert accompanied by some beautiful birdsong and the breathtaking views out across Brighton and the sparkling English channel beyond.

“At the start of each gig I invited my audiences to share the midsummer peace with me; they responded by generating this great feeling of tranquillity.

“This felt like the perfect space within which to play the Bach Suite and to mark where we all were in the year. In this tour I was searching for the meaning of midsummer and it felt like I found it in the music I played at each and every concert,”
said Richard.


As the British summer seems to be turning hot, Richard is getting ready to leave for the first of his two guitar holidays in the south of France.  En route there is just one, final midsummer concert in Eglise Saint Chartier de Javarzay Chef Boutonne (south of Le Mans).  

The July French Guitar Adventurers holiday is full but there are still a few spaces on the September course.

If you play guitar then come and join the musical party in the sunshine! If you are unsure about your suitability as a musician, please get in touch and we can discuss this. The week includes and encourages a wide range of abilities and musical styles on both classical and acoustic guitars.


Meanwhile back in Sussex it’s Richard’s end of term Summer Special concert at Ropetackle including a guest appearance by the Paraguayan harpist Cristobal Pedersen (father of Kike Pedersen).

Richard Durrant

Following the February premiere of Richard Durrant’s Ukulele Quartet No.1 Tan y Bwlch, the piece has just been performed again – this time in North Wales, the land that inspired the work in the first place…

Composer, guitarist and ukulele pioneer Richard’ Durrant’s eternal enthusiasm for the uke has been boosted by successful appearances at the Ukulele Festival of Scotland and Meet the Ukulele Makers Festival (MUMF) at Plas Tan y Bwlch north Wales.

In 2018, Richard composed his six movement ukulele concerto, Six Grooves for Ukulele. This was the springboard to writing the first ever ukulele quartet which was inspired by the landscape of North Wales.

Tan y Bwlch

Ukulele Quartet No.1 Tan y Bwlch consists of three movements:
I  Penmaenbach
II  Cledrau
III Gogoniant

The piece can be performed by four ukes (all have to be tuned as re-entrant) or by solo ukulele plus three ukulele groups of any size.


The newly released audio recording is available on all digital platforms (i-tunes, Spotify etc).

There are also loads of tutorial films on the Richard Durrant Academy website to help with learning and performing the music.

And the score is also available to buy online.

CALLING ALL UKULELE PLAYERS

Here is a chance for all Ukulele players to join Richard and play along with him at two of his forthcoming Music for Midsummer shows:

  • 20 June 7.45pm The Hawth, Crawley
  • 21 June 7.30pm Brighton Open Air Theatre
The new SuperTenor Ukulele

Each concert in the Music for Midsummer tour includes Richard’s guitar piece Book of Spells as well as Bach’s 3rd Cello Suite played on a brand new SuperTenor Ukulele by the world renowned luthier Pete Howlett. This beautiful uke is made from pencil cedar and is an art object in its own right.

And if you want to take part here are the chord tabs you will need. Richard is refusing to say what the piece is – you’ll find out when you come along and play it – but numbers indicate the number of strums on each chord:

Click below for details of Richard’s five remaining Music for Midsummer gigs played on concert guitars, tenor guitar and ukuleles.

Richard Durrant’s special musical celebration of midsummer inspired by the summer solstice starts in just five days in Aberystwyth and ends in early July in France …

Guitarist and composer Richard Durrant returns with a musical celebration of midsummer and another classic series of gigs on the folk/classical cusp.

As the solstice approaches Durrant reveals a collection of pieces, old favourites, tales from the road and the occasional song gathered together to mark the summer solstice.

‘My new favourite guitarist…Richard Durrant sits comfortably outside the accepted genres.’
Tom Robinson, BBC6 Music

Tours such as this are not new to Richard.  He has toured extensively around the UK with his Christmas show for 15 years. His encounters have changed him from church ‘avoider’ to minister of communion, although still fascinated by Paganism after some years living at the feet of the mysterious hill carving the Long Man of Wilmington.

Richard explains…

‘I want to explore the real meaning of midsummer. This year is the start of a long journey as I try to make sense of it all – just as I did with those early Christmas tours.’

Richard’s Music for Midsummer will include the entire Bach Cello Suite No.3 played on ukulele and Richard’s very own work for guitar Book of Spells. As on the album Stringhenge British folk tunes will be mixed with the music of Bach. And the heat of summer will be felt in a selection of Spanish guitar works.

The summer solstice occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. This is the day when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and the longest period of daylight. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere.

Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been a significant time of year for many cultures who mark the date with festivals and rituals. In many regions, the summer solstice is simply referred to as ‘Midsummer’.

Music for Midsummer Tour 2019

Join us for this special celebration of music at this magical time of the year. Find out if there is a performance near you: https://www.richarddurrant.com/diary/