Durrant’s highly personalised orchestra comprises a full string section, tuned and untuned percussion, electric bass, piano & keyboards plus berimbau, waterphone, and Durrant’s own invention the ‘Bicyclatter’ – a huge frame hung around a drum-kit and made from various moving, pedalling bicycle parts which is played by one of the two percussionists Stephen Hiscock..
But what use would a new piece for ukulele be if it did not encompass the heart of the uke: its spirit of community and inclusiveness? Fortunately Durrant has given this aspect central importance; yes he does gets to show us the full range of his virtuosity on this little wooden box but he also, rather ingeniously, manages to showcase its fun and light-hearted personality.
Ukulele groups from schools, classes, pubs, or those of us who simply like to perform in the comfort of our own living rooms are all invited to attend a short series of workshops, culminating in a rehearsal with the orchestra leading in to the ‘Big Gig’. In this way Durrant integrates both the orchestral musician and the community musician under one roof, whilst highlighting the sheer power of the ukulele both musically and socially.
If the Richard Durrant Orchestra comes to your town then you can join them and help spread the message: the ukulele has arrived in concert halls across the land.
Ukulelist’s, this is your time!! ‘Ukulele players of the world unite!” – “The Ukulele needs you!!”.