Richard Durrant has now cycled over 600 miles as part of his Stringhenge musical pilgrimage from The Old Man of Hoy to the Long Man of Wilmington.

Here’s his update…

‘It all started at St Magus Cathedral on 1st June where I was very surprised and moved to see people in the audience from all over the UK.

Since then I have slowly headed south stopping for two other Scottish gigs plus one on Holy Island and one in Pickering North Yorkshire.

There are still many miles to pedal and five more concerts to play. And tonight I’ll be in St Mary’s Church, Edwinstowe in Sherwood Forest.’

Old Man of Hoy

13 June @ 7.30 pm
St Mary’s Church, Edwinstowe, Sherwood Forest

15 June @ 7.30 pm
Scopwick Village Hall, Brookside, Lincolnshire

18 June @ 7.30 pm
Holywell Music Room, Oxford

21 June @ 7:30 pm
BOAT Brighton, Park Dyke Road, Hove

22 June : 7:30 pm
St Peter’s Church, Church St., Bexhill-on-Sea

19 July @ 7:30 pm
Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-sea

Stringhenge
Stringhenge

The Stringhenge album is now at the factory. If you pre-order your copy here we will send you a link to the mp3 version of the album.

You can also already buy Stringhenge as FLAC or ALAC files at the full, mastering quality sampling rate (96-24).

The audio quality of these downloads is really quite something – in fact all Richard’s albums are for sale on his site in these formats so that you can here them at the very highest resolution.

Richard and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Before heading to the northern reaches of the British Isles Richard Durrant popped in at a certain birthday party at Buckingham Palace… All in a week’s work for Richard Durrant!

Richard was invited to play with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at last week’s birthday party for HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. The sun shone, the music echoed around the palace gardens and Prince Charles was delighted.

Richard at Buckingham Palace

Richard at Buckingham Palace

A few days later with his new album Stringhenge finished Richard headed north and called in at Peter Tyson Audio/Visual in Carlisle to have a listen to his work on one of their high-end audio systems. He was suitably reassured. The recordings have now been mastered by Ian Shepherd with the lacquer cutting and vinyl mastering done at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. Stringhenge the double album is now at the pressing plant and due any time now for delivery.

Richard checking out the master

Richard checking out the master

So what is Stringhenge the double album all about?

Well, Part 1 is all solo music played on the bog oak concert guitar, the tenor guitar and the ukulele. Works by Bach and Durrant mixed in with British Folk melodies.

Part 2 is called The English Guitar Hymnal and is mostly Durrant originals including three songs. But there is also a track based on the Elgar cello concerto played on tenor guitar, harpsichord, chamber organ and bodhran.

Richard says: This is the most personal album I have ever made. It is both high art and low art, Christian and Pagan, summer and winter.’

To record The English Guitar Hymnal Richard played a variety of guitars, double bass, cello, shruti box, harpsichord, organ and ukulele. Unusually he also takes lead vocals on the three songs. He is also joined by friends Howard Beach on harpsichord & organ, Piers Adams on recorders, Stephen Hiscock percussion & drums, Nick Pynn fiddle & dulcimer plus a host of voices and the Sompting Village Morris!

Stringhenge

Stringhenge

So here’s a track from side one…

The Stringhenge tour began last Friday at a packed St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. It was attended by fans from all over the UK. 

Richard and the ‘Stringhenge Peloton’ are now cycling south for nine more concerts at significant places on the British landscape.

Richard will be appearing live on BBC Radio 3’s breakfast programme from The Big Oak in Sherwood Forest as a special programme for Midsummer’s Eve. He will be performing at St Mary’s Church in the forest as part of his Stringhenge Tour.

The album will arrive in three weeks or so. All advance orders are greatly appreciated as this is a self funded, independent project. Just click on this link to order your copy of the double album on Vinyl or CD. Mastering quality audio downloads (96-24) will soon be available and the album will also appear on i-tunes and Spotify etc.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF STRINGHENGE THE DOUBLE ALBUM

This sneak preview of the Stringhenge double album gives a flavour of what we can expect from Richard Durrant’s much anticipated new double album…

1st June sees the first performance of Stringhenge. It also heralds the start of Richard Durrant’s marathon cycle ride from the Orkney islands to the English Channel.

The three week, 1,500 mile, musical adventure will see concert guitarist and composer Richard Durrant performing in a cathedral, the oldest recital hall in Europe, country churches, arts centres and festivals in a programme of British folk music, Durrant originals and music by JS Bach.

Richard Durrant cites the British landscape as the main inspiration for this tour.

But the instruments played at each gig also played a huge part in the formation of this project as Richard explains…

“I’m lucky to be playing what I believe to be the world’s most beautiful concert guitar. It was made from 5,000 year old English Oak by the Lincolnshire Luthier Gary Southwell and the instrument feels like a sacred object. You will also hear my four string tenor guitar (the Uffington Tenor by Ian Chisholm) and a ukulele set aside purely for the music of JS Bach”.

And the new Stringhenge double album will be available on vinyl, CD and download.

It is also somewhat unusual as it includes several guest musicians, the Sompting Village Morris and of course Durrant’s unique multi-instrumental skills.

Stringhenge

As well as buying tickets in advance for the tour concerts you can also pre-order copies of Stringhenge on vinyl, CD or download.

If you would like to cycle with Richard and his co-rider Sean please contact us.

Stringhenge

Richard Durrant celebrates the launch of Stringhenge the double album by cycling his solo show from Orkney to Sussex throughout the month of June…

The music for Stringhenge is directly inspired by the British landscape so how better to celebrate the launch of the new album than with a concert tour covering the length of Great Britain. This tour will take in some of the most iconic locations in Scotland and England – here are some of the highlights…

The Ring of Brodgar

Starting on 1 June in St Magnus Cathedral on the island of Orkney – begun in 1137 for the bishops of Orkney when they were ruled by the Norse Earls.

Edinburgh skyline

On the mainland one of the concerts will be at Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirk – one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings and an important place in the history of the Scottish Covenanters.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Along the coast of Northumberland to the remote Holy Island of Lindisfarne and the little Saxon church founded by St Aidan in 635 AD and still a centre of pilgrimage today.

Holywell Music Room

Holywell Music Room

In the city of spires, Oxford and the Holywell Music Rooom – the oldest purpose-built music room in Europe, and Britain’s first concert hall dating from 1748.

BOAT

And finally to a host of venues along the South coast including BOAT – Brighton Open Air Theatre – Placed in The Tatler’s top six outdoor theatres which included Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

As well as buying tickets in advance for the tour concerts you can also pre-order copies of Stringhenge on vinyl, CD or download. You can even join Richard (and co-rider Sean) for part of the cycling journey between Orkney and Lindisfarne (June 1st to 8th).

And finally a huge thank you to everyone who supported last week’s fantastic event with at The Hawth in Crawley with Six Grooves for Ukulele. We had a really brillant audience, the amazing Richard Durrent Orchestra and a superb group of community ukulele players..

21 April promises to be a fantastic evening of music featuring The Richard Durrant Orchestra and Richard Durrant’s incredible new Concerto for solo Ukulele, Strings, Percussion, Keyboards, Bass and community Ukulele players.

Let’s take a look at how the preparation is going:

This is a film of a performance of some of the movements of Six Grooves with players from the BYO. It is shot by Michael Danks on a 360 degree camera. you can click on the screen and look around The Brighton College Recital Hall

Described as ‘A game changer for the ukulele’ by George Hinchliffe – co-founder of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – this extraordinary project is being supported by Arts Council England and PRS for Music.

Six Grooves for Ukulele
21 April 2018, 7.30pm
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ

Tickets: £21.50, Child £18, Schools/Groups 10 + £16.50
Booking information: 01293 553636 parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

The Richard Durrant Orchestra features a full string section plus Chris Brannick & Stephen Hiscock – percussion, Howard Beach – keyboards and Gareth Huw Davis – bass.​

Howard Beach tells us more about this amazing new piece:

There’s still time to get involved… but be quick!

Six Grooves for Ukulele involves The Richard Durrant Orchestra working with ukulele players in the area to perform this original and ground breaking new work.

If you want to be one of the community ukulele players then join Richard’s workshops on Tuesday 10th April, Tuesday 17th April 7pm & Saturday 21st April 11am at The Hawth in Crawley.

SIX GROOVES FOR UKULELE WORKSHOPS
10 April – 21 April

SIX GROOVES FOR UKULELE – PERFORMANCE
21 April : 7:30 pm

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The Complete Programme:

Six Grooves for Ukulele
for full orchestra, solo ukulele and antiphonal ukuleles

The Girl at the Airport
for guitar and strings

Cycling Music:
for guitar sequences, full orchestra and bicyclatter

‘The whole work was totally involving, and not just because I was involved! I won’t forget my experience in a hurry’
Community ukulele player

‘A game changer for the ukulele’
George Hinchliffe – co-founder of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Six Grooves for Ukulele
21 April 2018, 7.30pm
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ

Tickets: £21.50, Child £18, Schools/Groups 10 + £16.50
Booking information: 01293 553636 parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

Join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening of music from world class concert guitarist, ukulele virtuoso and composer Richard Durrant. Together with The Richard Durrant Orchestra they will perform the long awaited new work for solo Ukulele, Strings, Percussion, Keyboards, Bass and Antiphonal Ukuleles (made up of uke players from the local community).

The Richard Durrant Orchestra features a full string section plus Chris Brannick & Stephen Hiscock – percussion, Howard Beach – keyboards and Gareth Huw Davis – bass.

Get involved…

Six Grooves for Ukulele involves The Richard Durrant Orchestra working with ukulele players in the area to perform this original and ground breaking new work.

If you want to be one of the community ukulele players then join Richard’s workshops on Tuesday 10th April, Tuesday 17th April 7pm & Saturday 21st April 11am at The Hawth in Crawley.

‘The whole work was totally involving, and not just because I was involved! I won’t forget my experience in a hurry’
Community ukulele player

We can guarantee something special with Six Grooves for Ukulele: The menagerie of exotic instruments with the “Bicyclatter” arched over the drum-kit centre stage is further enhanced by animated backdrops, beautiful still images and clever lighting design.

The Complete Programme:

Six Grooves for Ukulele
for full orchestra, solo ukulele and antiphonal ukuleles
The Girl at the Airport
for guitar and strings
Cycling Music:
For guitar sequences, full orchestra and bicyclatter (bicycle percussion)

SIX GROOVES FOR UKULELE WORKSHOPS
10 April – 21 April

SIX GROOVES FOR UKULELE – PERFORMANCE
21 April : 7:30 pm

Richard Durrant's cycling tour

Richard Durrant tell us he has been as busy as ever during the long winter months and now brings up some exciting news about what’s coming up this Spring…

Hi Folks,

Welcome to my first blog of 2018 – albeit a rather belated one as we’ve already passed Imbolc and the days are lengthening as we head for spring.

I have two big, long term projects running at the moment. I would love to tell you about them both and hope that you find them unusual and interesting.

Richard Durrant: STRINGHENGE

A double album on vinyl and CD

I’m currently recording my new album Stringhenge to be released on June 1st in St Magnus Cathedral on Orkney. It’s a project I’ve been planning for many years.

The album is directly inspired by the British landscape and by my beautiful English guitars, but the musical roots of Stringhenge lie in the British folk tradition and obscure British Prog. The album also feeds directly off the oddness of my musical upbringing.

You can already order copies of Stringhenge on vinyl, CD or download. You can also buy tickets for the album tour concerts taking place between Orkney and Sussex.

You can also pledge your support in other ways:
* Buy a ticket for the private concert in my studio (5th May)
* Include somebody’s name on the album artwork
* Buy front row tickets to many of the gigs on the tour (includes a signed copy of the album).

I shall be cycling between concerts on the promo tour (Orkney to Sussex). If any cyclists would like to join me (and co-rider Sean) on the northern leg of the tour from Orkney to Lindisfarne (June 1st to 8th) then please contact me asap for details…

There is a cost involved in taking part – but this will go directly towards the production costs of the album.

There will be two warm up gigs during the recording of Stringhenge at the following locations:

2nd March The Old Meeting House, Ditchling
https://richarddurrant.com/event/richard-durrants-stringhenge-ditchling/

10th March Theaterkerk Bemmel, Netherlands
https://richarddurrant.com/event/stringhenge-acoustic-music-inspired-by-the-british-landscape-bemmel-holland/

The Richard Durrant Orchestra

We’re extremely busy preparing for our second concert which will take place on April 21st at The Hawth in Crawley. I’ve been working hard on the scores!

The concert will feature:

  • Six Grooves for Ukulele – a six movement 45 minute ukulele concerto with additional “Antiphonal Ukes” from the local community.
  • The Girl at the Airport – for guitar and strings.
  • Cycling Music – a full length version which I’ve now scored for the full orchestra – of course including Stephen Hiscock on the Bicyclatter

Any ukulele players wishing to take part should contact us straight away.

Existing Six Grooves passport holders can come to a refresher at Ropetackle on Wednesday 11th April, 7pm and also take part in an open dress rehearsal on 16th April.

 

Stringhenge Album Tour

 

Richard Durrant’s 2017 Candlelit Christmas Concert Tour is racing across the country from the South Coast to Beverley in Yorkshire. Catch this fantastic Christmas show while you can…

Richard Durrant is joined by master folk fiddler Nick Pynn and fantastic singer Amy Kakoura to create a truly magical experience taking us to the heart of Christmas.

Richard Durrant, Amy & Nick

Richard Durrant, Nick Pynn and Amy Kakoura

And here’s a taste of the magic to come with an extract from Richard’s 2013 album ‘Christmas Guitars’. The track ‘An Acoustic Winter Solstice  ‘ creates a wintry, musical landscape of acoustic instruments, hammond organ and percussion:

Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concerts have become a much loved part of Christmas for many years. The music includes original work as well as the familiar – and all led by Richard’s uniquely expressive way with the flawless technique of a major virtuoso and the delivery of a natural story teller.

Setting Up

Richard warming up

Richard warming up

Here’s the schedule of shows still to come in this year’s run up to Christmas:

 

Christmas on the Map

 

Richard Durrant’s 2017 Candlelit Christmas Concert Tour presents 12 performances across 8 different venues from the South Coast to the Yorkshire Dales…

For many music lovers across the UK Christmas doesn’t properly begin without attending one of Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concerts. For guitar maestro and composer Richard Christmas is also very special which is why this tour has been a major part of his concert schedule for many years.

Richard’s musical choices are always a fascination. Original guitar works as well as tunes taken from the early music repertoire and works by Bach – all played in his uniquely expressive way with the flawless technique of a major virtuoso and the delivery of a natural story teller.

Richard Durrant, Amy & Nick

Richard Durrant, Nick Pynn and Amy Kakoura

This year Richard is once again joined by master folk fiddler Nick Pynn and singer Amy Kakoura – two great musicians who help take this show into the heart of Christmas.

‘… a celebration without any sparkly tinsel and commercial sentimentality. Amy’s pure vocal was a Yuletide delight. Durrant’s playing was masterful creating the right seasonal feel to this family show. ‘
– Brighton Argus

And here’s a taste of the magic to come with an extract from Richard Durrant’s 2013 album “An Acoustic Winter Solstice’ creating a wintry, musical landscape of acoustic instruments, hammond organ and percussion:

Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concert Tour 2017

 

 

PledgeMusic for Stringhenge

After the gigs & accolades here it comes: STRINGHENGE, the long awaited double album on vinyl, CD & download…

This project can only happen with your help so Richard has teamed up with the leading crowd-funding company PledgeMusic. So, if you love Richard’s music, PledgeMusic is where you can become part of Stringhenge.

Please have a look at some of the ways you can get involved. Initially you can order advance copies of the double album and even have your name included on the album artwork, but more offers are scheduled to be announced weekly. You can buy an Access Pass for regular project updates, details of new offers plus a digital download of the album on completion.

And here’s just a sample of what you can do at PledgeMusic:

How you can pledge How you can pledge

1 June 2018 sees the launch of the next chapter in the Stringhenge journey with a promotional tour to launch Stringhenge – The Album, beginning on Orkney with a concert in St Magnus Cathedral and ending in Sussex. In true Richard Durrant style, and to minimise the carbon footprint of this project, he will cycle the entire tour carrying all the gear for each concert.

Listen to The Bog Oak Bouree – the demo track for Stringhenge the album.

Stringhenge was launched in Ditching, Sussex on 24th March 2017, the first show in the Stringhenge tour. From there it has gone from strength to strength with concerts the length and breadth of the British Isles.

And there are two more shows coming up in the 2017 tour at The Cut in Halesworth on 16 November and Thomas Cranmer Centre in Aslockton on 17 November.

PledgeMusic