From Hadrian’s Wall to Rome. With a cello.
First there was music, then there was poetry; now there’s movement as well. The Highway Cello identity was born out of this journey – “from the edge of Empire to its heart”. The 1800 mile adventure was described as a work in Three Movements – England, France and Italy.
The idea was to strap my lovely carbon fibre cello to the back of my fifty-year-old Dawes Galaxy bicycle, and cycle the old Roman routes from Hadrian’s Wall down to Rome. Actually “down” isn’t really the right word. There are Pennines, and Dales, and Alps and Apennines in the way, and I climbed the equivalent of more than three Everests.
I performed every day on the way – formal concerts and pop-ups, busking and a variety of responses to the events and people of the journey.
I played in churches and town halls, in homes and offices, restaurants and balconies and street corners. From Canterbury Cathedral to the lawns of the Leaning Tower of Pisa; from a silent war cemetery in the Haute Somme to the highest motorable road over the Alps; from a little bridge over the Marne Canal to St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Every day I wrote a blog, and afterwards I wrote a book.