Week 1 on the road

Richard on ferry to Orkney

As Richard Durrant began his Music for Midsummer musical, cycling pilgrimage on Orkney, the sun broke out during the ferry crossing and stayed for the entire visit.

First stop was Stromness Academy to meet some of the music students:

Stromness Academy

Next, Richard took the Bog Oak guitar to the Ring of Brodgar. The plan was to introduce the neolithic timber to the neolithic stones – and then perhaps play a piece of music. The guitar had other ideas…

The concert in St Magnus Cathedral was a huge success attended by a large audience.

Early the next morning Richard returned to the Scottish mainland to begin his journey south for concerts in Inverness, Dundee and Greyfriars Edinburgh.

‘It’s been fascinating playing a concert containing so much of my own music. It makes me dig deep to find the colours and the clarity of phrasing to draw people in. This is because I know it’s the audience’s first listening.’

Says Richard

The tour continued as Richard crossed the border heading for Upfront near Penrith, Cumbria for the Friday night show.

On Saturday 11th June he’ll be at Lancaster Priory, then a huge ride is needed to get him to the National Centre for Early Music in York for Sunday’s evening concert on 12 June.

The challenge of the ride!
Richard will have covered well over 1,000 miles by the time the tour is completed.  The early stages were not without problems due to the amount of weight the bike has to carry.  

On two separate occasions Richard had to find a welding shop to repair the luggage rack fixings and then, by Dundee, the trailer couplings were in need of attention.  

But as the ride progressed the Aurelius bicycle found its balance and began to feel well trimmed and more than happy to purr its way through the miles.

Cycling through the British Isles has strongly reminded me of my early days as a vegetarian – everything has to be carefully planned because nothing is going to be easy and most people will express either surprise or total bafflement.  The connections continue: first, we can’t continue to travel by burning fossil fuels and, second, the planet will starve or overheat if we continue to depend on a diet of animal protein.

Added Richard
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