Over a year after trip 1, I am now moving out of Oxford on the 28th June 2013. Before I settle somewhere new I’ll go travelling round Europe for a little while.
Sadly, this will not be by bike but by car. I will be travelling with some very close friends and a musical instruments. These friends and I form a band called bambinodelloro.com. Along the way we hope to play as much as we can and collaborate with musician we meet on the road. True to the record and ride spirit we will try and seek out interesting acoustic spaces. Equally, I will be recording other artists on the way and hope to hear from you about ideas of whom I should record and where I should go.
Although not a proper Record and Ride trip and more like a Record and Drive trip I though this little adventure was worth sharing and hope to se you on the road!
This time I bring to you good news! Doppler is back!
Last night, I was out at the pub and a conversation I was having led me to mention that my bike had been stolen. A few seconds later, I received a call from a friend saying ‘don’t get excited but I might have found your bike!‘. I got excited. I described Doppler in every single detail and, as soon as I finished, she said ‘I’ve found your bike!!‘. I hurried in to town to meet her. I found her in the very center of Oxford standing next to good old Doppler! Whoever stole him left him unlocked, so I easily regained my favourite compagnon and left the thief a note. It’s strange as I truly felt that Doppler hadn’t gone for ever and I’m so glad that he hadn’t!
This whole story taught me a good lesson that I probably should have learnt a long time ago: your bike is never safe! not even hidden behind a big green car in your drive way!
Also, all the very positive reactions following the announcement of the theft have encouraged me to keep this website a bit more alive! I’ll let you know about all the projects that have stemmed from the trip and the planning of future ones. In the meantime I would like thank you all for keeping an eye out for Doppler and particularly thank you to ‘Broken Spokes‘ for sharing the news!
I haven’t posted on here for quite a while now. All is well with me and all was well with Doppler up until yesterday.
On Monday 4th March, after a lovely sunny day busking in the streets of Oxford I went to bed exhausted. Halfway through the night, I was woken up by some shuffling noise coming from outside. I open my window and looked around for a good 5 minutes. I didn’t see anything unusual so went back to bed. Yesterday, as I went out to climb onto Doppler and pedal to the other side of Oxford, I realised he had gone. I stood there baffled. I couldn’t believe he’d been stolen. I walked up to town checking every spot I might have mindlessly left him, hoping I’d gone to a shop and completely forgotten I’d cycled there. Doppler wasn’t there and, after going through my memories, was certain I’d left him by my house.
However, I don’t want to accept that Doppler is gone for ever. So I would like to ask you guys to keep yours eyes open for a sexy looking adventurous friend!
I don’t know his make or the dimensions (he’s always been Doppler to me) but he is metallic orange, the handlebars have yellow tape wound around them and underneath they’re wound with multicolored electric tape, the saddle is white and bears the scars of the Zadar episode (someone lacerated it in Croatia), the frame has a washed out record-and-ride sticker as well as stickers from a bike workshop in Krakow and a ribbon from a fundraising cycle-ride in Warsaw, the pedal axle is completely rusted and a little bit wobbly, it has unusually mounted front and back paniers, the rear panier is held together by plastic and metal zip-ties, the rear mud gard is zip-tied to the rear panier and has a Motherfolkers sticker on it and, finally, there is bell attached to the left half of the handlebars with a picture of an elephant which belonged to my father.
Finally, here is the last recording from the cycling adventure – the first and last recordings being from Oxford, recorded nearly seven months apart.
Before introducing the last artist, I would like say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have participated in this adventure by performing, hosting me, sponsoring or supporting me, giving me contacts and following the trip. However cliché this may sound: I couldn’t have done this without you! Thank you!
There are many other similar projects out there that also need help and I believe it is important to support them. As they remind us of what there is outside our daily life and remind us of how beautiful and rich the world around us is. Some friends of mine are about to embark on a year long kayak adventure across the northern section of the Mediterranean coast. The project is called Mare Nostrum and is “a scientific project, an educational project, as well as a cultural one, which is dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea and its children”. For more information please go to there facebook page.
Back to the recordings – It took me sometime after I returned home to settle back into a non-nomadic life. Thus, it wasn’t till a month later that I got round to record the last artist. I have known Luke Keegan for quite sometime now and he seemed like the obvious person to call upon to close this series of recordings. He came round to my place and we tried to record outside. However, England being England we only had time to record two songs before we were forced back inside by the weather. We recorded one last song in the front room which is cluttered with musical instruments. I believe two of the songs he performed were new ones that aren’t on his recently released album ‘Conker & The Wheel’. Voilà. Thank you for listening.
Hello! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated the website! However, I’ve been quite busy with plans to mark the end of the project. Two weeks ago, I recorded the last artists and will upload the recordings this week-end.
Also, I thought I’d make a call for help in organising a Record and Ride concert. I would like the event to be like a little festival where artists I recorded throughout the trip come to perform in England sharing their music and part of their culture. Thus, if any of you would like to help please drop me an email.
Five months ago, I cycled south out of Oxford then turned ouest for London and then miles of cycling and recording adventures. Last Saturday, the 8th September 2012, I cycled back in through north Oxford, thus, completing the circle. After an extended period of absence, I have always found it hard to understand what it feels like to return to a place I could call home. I am sure many of you have experienced that slight feeling of disappointment from how underwhelming it is. Then there is the excitement of seing all your friends again and the beginning of a new stage of your life but, unavoidably, nostalgia starts creeping in. At the moment this is where I’m at: a big cloud of mixed feelings. In a few weeks time, I’m sure that telling stories from the trip will be like trying to recount episodes from a dream. Before it does, here’s what I did after York.
I left York early on the 5th September and had a lovely ride down to Sheffield. The country side was absolutely beautiful although I had to ignore the occasional factory (in the cloudy sunlit sky I must say they had their charm). I arrived in Sheffield some 55 miles and two cream teas later. There I met up with Sophia from the Mother Folkers with whom I would be staying. I knew Sophia from before the trip as she played for a concert in Oxford a friend and me had organised. The next evening, we went down to a bloc of small studios that bands exploit to satisfy their creative needs. We met up with the rest of the band. As we were setting up, the whole room started to resonate with the roar of crashing cymbals, overdriven guitars and bass and, shouting/scream – In the studios below, a punk gig was being hosted… So we moved to a more quite but smaller room where we had to fit a drummer, two singers/guitarists, a violinist, a flautist, a bassist, a former band member and me with my recording gear. We just about managed. Squashed in this small space, the Mother Folkers launched into their special blended folk, hip hop, blues, you name it, smoothy. Here are the recordings: (and for more: http://themotherfolkersmusic.bandcamp.com/)
Although the cycling is finished the project is not completely finished. I shall be recording Luke Keegan to close the recording cycle! So stay tuned for a little bit longer!
That’s it the fringe is finished and I, just like many others, am enjoying the post-festival comedown, the adrenaline drop, the slight sadness yet relief I’m out of that frenzy and budget abyss. Unfortunately, I have come out the other side with no recordings to share with you… It’s not that I didn’t try, it’s that everyone is so busy promoting and performing their show then running around from show to show to party to party. Result no one has time to sit down to record a few tunes. It was crazier than expected and was so in different ways than I expected – I’ll know better next time!
Anyways, Doppler still hasn’t arrived. Our separation has been disastrous to my moral. There was a confusion in the courier service and should have arrive two weeks ago! Hopefully, it’ll arrive tomorrow between 9am and 5pm. If all goes well tomorrow, I shall empty the Deck Theatre Company fringe apartment and sit outside till Doppler arrives. Put it back together and set of into the beautiful Scottish hills heading for Newcastle. If it doesn’t go well, then I’m stuck.
I have another 2 weeks of travelling then it’ll be back to Oxford! Maybe I’ll see you on the road and maybe you can share the project.