Highway Cello

From Hadrian’s Wall to Rome. With a cello.

First there was music, then there was poetry; now there’s movement as well. I’m calling the whole 1800 mile journey a performance – in three movements.
The Highway Cello!

Note: This page was first written in the future tense – it was about what I planned and hoped to do. If you read the blog, you will see that it happened, it’s now in the past. I went to Rome, and I came back again. I was going to change this page, and put it in the past tense, but then I decided to leave it. This is what it looked like when it was just a dream…

Follow My Journey

The First Movement – “England”

The first movement, “England”, will be the most structured. If all goes well it will take me two weeks to cycle the 500 miles from Hadrian’s Wall to Dover, with lots of shows programmed along the way. Here’s the itinerary:

DateConcert Details
Wed 25 May 20222.00pm send-off concert at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle
Thur 26 MayTBC
Fri 27 May7.30pm concert at Masham Town Hall
Sat 28 MayHouse concert, Harrogate
Sun 29 May12.30pm pop-up concert, York Minster, weather permitting
Mon 30 May3.00pm concert All Saints’ Church, Gainsborough
Tue 31 MayPop-up afternoon concert at Grimsthorpe Castle; evening fundraiser for “Steam Action” at Edenham Village Hall / Edenham Church
Wed 1 JunePop-up concert, King’s College Cambridge
Thu 2 JuneLunchtime concert, St. Botolph’s. Pop-up concert on a punt, Cambridge
Fri 3 JuneEvening concert, Buntingford, Westmill Church
Sat 4 JuneHouse concert, London
Sun 5 JuneHouse concert, Guildford
Mon 6 JuneEvening concert, Melford Gallery, Mayfield
Tue 7 JunePop-up afternoon concert, Canterbury cathedral
Wed 8 JunePop-up concerts, Canterbury
Thu 9 JuneFerry to Calais

The Second and Third movements (“France” and “Italy”) will be improvised variations on the First movement, that is, without formal concerts programmed in advance. I’m hoping people will respond to the moment, and ask me to play in their homes, for their friends, and invite me to stay. But if I roll up in a place late in the afternoon, and lay out my stall, that may or may not happen. There might be hungry nights under the hedges…

So here’s an itinerary, but it’s only a framework for improvisation. If you, or someone you know, lives close to this route, and would like to send me an invitation…

And if you’re a poet, or a cellist, or a cyclist, (or you make very good cakes) on or near the route, please be in touch, and join the story.

The Highway Cello, on a bike trailer

The Second Movement – “France”

Thu 9 June Calais
Fri 10 JuneSt. Omer
Sat 11 JuneArras
Sun 12 JuneSt. Quentin
Mon 13 JuneReims
Tue 14 JuneVitry le Francois
Wed 15 JuneChaumont
Thu 16 JuneLangres
Fri 17 JuneDijon
Sat 18 JuneChalon-sur-Saone
Sun 19 JuneBourg-en-Bresse
Mon 20 JuneValserhone
Tue 21 JuneAlbertville
Wed 22 JuneBourg-St-Maurice
Thu 23 JuneVal d’Isere
Fri 24 JuneLanslebourg Mont Cenis
Sat 25 JuneCol Mont Cenis
Playing outside on cobbles
Concert with the carbon fibre cello
Cello playing in formal gardens

The Third Movement – “Italy”

Sat 25 JuneSusa
Sun 26 JuneTurin
Mon 27 JuneAlessandria
Tue 28 JuneGenoa
Wed 29 JuneMonterosso al Mare
Thu 30 JunePisa
Fri 1 JulyVolterra
Sat 2 JulySiena
Sun 3 JulyBolsena
Mon 4 JulyBracciano
Tue 5 JulyRome

What do you think? Will it work?

You can see the route I plan to take on the map below.

There will be a blog of the journey. If you are interested, please sign up here to receive email updates when new articles are posted.

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