Bog Oak Guitar

How did a lump of ancient wood, buried for 5,000 years in an English bog, become an exquisite and adored musical instrument?

Richard Durrant has teamed up with friend, film-maker and former BBC presenter Neil Pringle to make a short documentary about the story of a unique classical guitar.  

How exactly did a huge Fenland black oak tree, which fell and lay undisturbed in the silt of the flooded forest floor for 5,000 years, end up making music in the 21st century?…

The 30-minute film follows Richard on a journey around England, meeting the cabinet-maker Hamish Low who saved and preserved the wood, and the luthier Gary Southwell (pictured) who lovingly transformed the precious timber into a remarkable and beautiful musical instrument. 

A wonderfully interesting and inspiring film. Superb quality… and Richard still playing as beautifully as ever.’

Gordon Giltrap MBE, English guitarist and composer

Also featured are on-location and studio performances of some of Richard’s own compositions, including: 

  • Step Gently from the album Rewilding
  • an excerpt from Book of Spells
  • The Bog Oak Bouree from the album Stringhenge.
Richard with cabinetmaker Hamish Low

Bog Oak Guitar is a fascinating and engaging story, which celebrates an extraordinary piece of England’s natural history, and shines a light on the incredible talents of three passionate men. 

Candlelit Christmas Concert 2021

Yes, it’s just over 6 weeks to go until Richard Durrant heralds the start of the Christmas season with his family-friendly candlelit tour featuring great music and special guests…

With Christmas songs and wintry Folk, traditional carols and solo guitar music this tour promises a welcome seasonal feast and the first live tour for nearly two years.

And this Christmas tour has a fantastic line up: Richard will be joined by sons Django and Felix alongside  legendary musician Brian Gulland and much loved tour regular Amy Kakoura.


Amy Kakoura

Amy and Richard have been exploring midwinter together for nearly a decade, sharing their deep love of the season’s music (and a robust defiance of genre). With a heritage spanning Greece, Ireland and England,

Amy’s inimitable voice can evoke ancient medieval chant, folk, jazz & soul and has done so onstage in the UK and around the globe. Just this month she was a featured artist on BBC Radio 3’s Words and Music and recently composed music for this year’s Coventry City of Culture opening ceremony. 


Brian Gulland

The one and only Brian Gulland has joined the tour!  Once a Canterbury Chorister, Brian is a multi instrumentalist and composer who has performed with London Pro Musica, Musica Reservata, the New Scorpion Band and Malicorne. 

Brian is a founder member of legendary English mediaeval prog band Gryphon.  The Candlelit Christmas tour comes hot on the heels of a string of Gryphon dates.


Django & Felix Durrant

Django Durrant first joined the Christmas tour in 2019 on drums and percussion. This year he’ll also be taking on vocal duties and he has contributed a new song to the set list for the first time. 

On his first professional tour Djangos’ brother Felix will play bass guitar and keyboards.  Already a fine pianist Felix also composes, writes his own songs and plays guitar in various open tunings.

South Downs

Premiering this captivating 10 minute video of Richard Durrant’s latest composition for solo guitar inspired by the magical landscape and rich heritage of England’s South Downs.


The Crest The Coombe The Twitten is a guitar solo influenced as much by the English Folk Baroque style of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch as it is by Vaughan-Williams and Elgar.

The three movements express Richard Durant’s affinity with the Sussex countryside and the South Downs in particular. It was commissioned by artist Tony Sharp for his wife Jill.

The first movement, The Crest expresses two main things: the breathtaking beauty as seen from the highest points on the South Downs Way and the ‘busier’ aspects of a hilltop view – there is usually a lot going on!

Next comes The Coombe, inspired by the riverless valleys punctuating the downs. In this case somewhere to find refuge from the exposed downland trackway, but hung with mist and strange atmospheres.

The Twitten concludes the work by tracing the procession of ancient trackways that still survive as narrow alleyways through villages, towns and often housing estates. They can be mundane, neglected, often forgotten altogether but they often provide a link with the distant – even neolithic – past as well as a route back up onto the ridgeway of the long distance downland track.

Richard has spoken of chance encounters in the twittens of Hollingbury including an 11th century troubadour, a Persian Prince and various old school mates.

The Crest The Coombe The Twitten was produced by Richard with film maker Neil Pringle. The live guitar recording was filmed by Peter Lisney with sound recordist Felix Durrant. Watch out too for the cameo appearances by Brian Gulland, Frank Horsley, Louise Durrant and a hilltop flash mob!

We hope you have enjoy the film!

Richard Durrant - Colourscape

This Saturday, September 11 will see Richard Durrant perform two gigs in the one day – one at Europe’s most unusual arts festival – another at a festival based in a delightful West Sussex village:

Colourscape Music Festival,
Clapham Common, London

From 12.30 to 4.30 pm Richard Durrant will be joined by special guests Brian Gulland and Stephen Hiscock to perform Cycling Music.

The special 30 minute performances of Cycling Musicwill feature Stephen on Bicyclatter and Brian on harmonium and contra-bassoon with computer sequences and composer Richard on guitar.

The trio will also perform a series of improvisations using an unusual collection of instruments including the Berimbau, Bassoon & Banjo.

Also included will be some unaccompanied Bach performed by Richard on concert guitar and tenor guitar.

…and later that evening a solo recital at the Hurst Festival, Sussex

Richard Durrant

Our much-loved maverick guitarist continues the day with a return to Hurst Festival at 8pm with a fascinating evening of guitar music.  

The first half will feature guitar favourites from around the world whilst the second half will be a very English experience with Richard’s own music including an excerpt from Rewilding plus his latest solo work The Crest The Coombe The Twitten.

‘Richard’s new album Rewilding is beyond beautiful…’ 

Isabella Tree – author of best selling book Wilding
My Childhood, My Country

My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan premiered on ITV on Monday 6 September with original music by Richard Durrant.

You can still see the programme on ITV Hub

This unique film follows the life of a boy in Afghanistan over two decades, telling his story and that of his country in the years that followed 9/11. The film has now been extended to bring things up to date and to include the current worrying developments in Afghanistan.

Richard Durrant wrote the music for this film alongside Asa Bennett and Dimitri Tchamouroff.

Produced by Seventh Art Productions, we first meet Mir Hussain as a cheeky, funny 7-year-old living in a cave next to the destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan statues in central Afghanistan. Over the following two decades the film bears witness to his adventures and Afghanistan’s struggles. 

“20 years in the making, following the story of mischievous and endearing seven-year-old Mir Hussain from 2001 to 2021, this film is both a remarkable portrait of one child’s life in Afghanistan and of the conflict that has engulfed the region. This unique film could not be more timely.

Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, Media & Entertainment at ITV 

More than a personal journey, My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan, is a powerful examination of what has – and has not – been achieved in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.

‘I can safely say that no film has captured the life inside an Afghan family in the way this one does. And little did we know that the final days of filming would coincide with the Taliban once again being in control of the country.’

Director Phil Grabsky

Watch ‘My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan’ on ITV1 and ITV Hub on Monday 6 September at 10:45pm (immediately after News at Ten).

Richard Durrant

A round up of Richard Durrant’s shows for the summer of 2021…

Two of the shows from the Music for Midsummer tour at Brighton and Clayton went ahead and were a great success. The rest of this tour will now be taking place in 2022. 

“These precious moments with a live audience reminded me of the two way energy flow generated by playing live music. I dream of touring again and hope to resume at Christmas.

Until then I continue to write, record and film and have never put so many hours into my music.

Said Richard

And coming up are two splendid shows which will include Richard’s newly commissioned solo work The Crest The Coombe The Twittern

MILTON KEYNES INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

22 July 2021 : 7pm – 9pm

You can also watch Richard’s livestream performance for Milton Keynes International Festival (“IF”).  Richard’s presentation of Rewilding will be a collection of ecologically inspired music, film and chat. Find out more…


RICHARD DURRANT LIVE AT LAST – SUMMER SPECIAL

30 July 2021 : 8pm – 10pm

We are delighted to confirm that Richard’s annual Summer Special show at Ropetackle Arts Centre will be going ahead on 30 July – and hopefully at full capacity.  As is the tradition for this particular show Richard will be joined onstage by some special guests. Find out more…


Travels with my Guitar

Announcing a brand new album of original music by Richard Durrant recorded with producer Paul Cartledge.

Watch this video of one of the tracks from the album: Tracing Starlight

This new album is now available on all streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.

Live shows

Richard is back this month in front of a live audience for three Music for Midsummer shows…

These three shows will feature music from Spain, Japan & South America. Also included will be works by JS Bach and Richard Durrant’s brand new solo guitar piece.

‘Waiting for the energising force of a live audience has been like waiting for the sun to come out.’

Says Richard
Music for Midsummer

BRIGHTON OPEN AIR THEATRE
20 June 2021 : 3pm
Tickets

KNEPP, WEST SUSSEX
26 June 2021 : 7.30pm
Tickets

CLAYTON
27 June 2021 : 7pm
Tickets

All three shows are very close to selling out so please hurry to get your tickets to avoid disappointment.

The other shows originally scheduled for this Orkney to Sussex tour will now take place in 2022.

Richard Durrant

Join us on Sunday 30 May for an evening of music, poetry and discussions celebrating both Eastern and Western culture, in support of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Palestine.

British composer, concert guitarist and ukulele virtuoso, Richard Durrant is looking forward to being involved in this special Converging Cultures event next Sunday. 

After a year of being locked away it’ll be refreshing to take part in an event designed to highlight a wider perspective.  There is beauty and there are harsh realities out there stretching way beyond Covid and sometimes only the arts will make us stop and think.

With this in mind the Converging Cultures – PalMusic UK Virtual Concert Series has been organised. I’m so pleased to be part of this evening of music, poetry and discussion celebrating both Eastern and Western culture, in support of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

Says Richard

Richard will be joined by performance poet and human rights activist Rafeef Ziadah. Rafeef has appeared in major venues across several countries, with powerful readings on war, exile, gender and racism. She has also released three albums, with her performance of poems such as ‘We Teach Life, Sir’ and ’Shades of Anger’ going viral within days of their release.

This concert is produced by PalMusic UK,committed to improving the lives of young Palestinians through music.

PalMusic UK nurtures links between Palestinian and British musicians, building bridges, enriching lives and creating life-changing opportunities.

Converging Cultures: Richard Durrant & Rafeef Ziadah
 30 May 2021 : 7pm – 9pm
Tickets: £10 plus £1 fee

Buy a ticket online at eventbrite

Richard Durrant

Join us on Saturday 8 May for a beautiful collection of guitar music, tales of land and sea and more besides – live streamed from Richard’s studio…

This solo concert will include typically Richard Durrant versions of Sumer is Icumen In and Elgar’s Chanson de Matin.

This is also the first of Richard’s co-hosted livestreams which will bring together Ropetackle Arts Centre (Shoreham by Sea), Scopwick Village Hall (Lincolnshire), and Swindon Festival of Literature.

‘A gig like this would not have happened but for the pandemic. The venues in Lincolnshire, Wiltshire and Sussex have all filmed contributions so we’ll get to meet them and hear their take on the collaboration. It’s an unusual and fascinating set up that brings together different groups of people from these lovely places that I know so well from so many concerts in the past.’

Says Richard

You can watch this concert LIVE at 7pm on Saturday 8 May direct from Richard’s studio on YouTube and Facebooksee diary for details.

Voluntary ‘virtual’ tickets are available – but It’s not behind a paywall so that it can be accessed free by anybody who has had a tough time during the pandemic. 

You can also watch the event online for up to a month afterwardswith a voluntary donation. 

Members of the Richard Durrant Academy can join Richard, backstage straight after the concert for a Zoom chat and a beer.

To sign up visit the Richard Durrant Academy – just £19.99 per month starting with a free, seven day trial.

Presented in association with:

  • Ropetackle Arts Centre Shoreham by Sea Sussex
  • Swindon Festival of Literature
  • Scopwick Village Lincolnshire