Richard Durrant bike

Preparations are well underway as Richard Durrant prepares to catch the early train on Monday 30 May for the start of his mammoth Midsummer Cycling Concert Tour from Orkney to Bexhill-on-Sea… 

Richard has just a few days left to cycle around the Sussex lanes (carrying a giant log in his trailer!) before handing his bike over to the Giant Cycles shop in Shoreham for a last check over before packaging it up and shipping it north in time for the ferry to Orkney. 

Thanks are due to to Tim and the team at Giant Cycles who have been fantastic!

The excitement of Richard’s first summer tour in three years is matched by the sheer joy of undertaking it by bicycle for the fourth time.

‘Cycling and playing solo is actually very practical. I simply get on my bike and head for the next venue; there’s no pollution, no complexities, just pedals. The bike also looks beautiful on stage where it becomes an unexpected and intriguing work of art, equally at home in a theatre or cathedral!’

Says Richard
Music for Midsummer Souvenir Programme

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The Midsummer Tour Souvenir Programme is now available from the SHOP at £6 in the hope that you will pre-order to save weight on the bicycle!

This sumptuous 12 page programme will accompany the tour from Orkney to Sussex.

The Sleep of a King

The Midsummer Tour Souvenir Programme is packed full of insights and information with Richard’s own programme notes, album artwork by Jon Everitt and photos by wildlife photographer David Bailey who also designed the programme.

The Sleep of a King is available on Spotify and all other streaming platforms at 4.09am on 2 June (sunrise on Orkney). The binaural, immersive audio headphone mix goes live on all streaming platforms at 4.46am (sunrise in Guildford).

This is the first album made up entirely of Richard’s own solo guitar compositions inspired by the landscape and shared history of The British Isles.

Sleep of a King

Richard Durrant’s mammoth midsummer cycling concert tour will feature all the music from The Sleep of a King. This is part of the release of his new solo album made up entirely of his own guitar solos…

Recorded recently in St Botolph’s Church, a tiny, Saxon church on the South Downs Way next to the river Adur, the album recordings were captured by the pioneering sound engineer Matt Saunders using an array of specialist mics.

Matt was sound technician at the Royal College of Music when Richard was a student. His recent projects recording Evan Parker and Lawrence Casserley have been typically experimental.

It is a fantastic experience hearing music recorded in this way. You feel exactly as if you are in the church with the sound high above and behind you and the guitar ideally placed just in front of you.”

Says Richard
Sound engineer Matt Saunders, Jon Everitt who has again produced the artwork for this project, Richard Durrant and Howard Beach, fellow musician who supervised the takes and kept an eye on the musical scores.

The tour programme starts with Bach’s entire 3rd Cello Suite on the ukulele following by the music from the album. The title track, The Sleep of a King is in three parts in the form of three dreams:

Although there is something English going on here (the King asleep under the hill) I also wanted to give names to the King’s dreams. Invocation, Supplication and Submission are my idealised choices.”

Added Richard

The recording will be available in various immersive audio formats including binaural audio – a fully immersive audio format designed for headphones – as well as conventional stereo. CD and vinyl releases are being planned to follow.

In addition to The Sleep of a King, the album will also include Book of a Spells. This is an interesting collection of strongly melodic episodes, each representing different spells: a spell to mesmerise, one to create good fortune, a spell to call a halt etc.

Also on the album is a new recording of The Crest The Coombe The Twittena celebration of the downs around Brighton – see video below.