Maverick composer and classical concert guitarist Richard Durrant has announced he will release an acoustic folk/prog concept album, Rewilding, on October 31. Rewilding has inspired by the natural world and, in particular, nature’s ability to regenerate when freed from the worst of mankind’s interferences.
Indeed, it was at Knepp Wilding project in Sussex where Richard performed a gig with a nightingale and folk singer Sam Lee one summer’s night back in 2018, that much of the inspiration began to coalesce.
Durrant's friendship with Knepp wildlife officer Penny Green and Isabella Tree’s book Wilding helped inform the album whilst birdsong, including the famous Knepp nightingales, can be heard throughout Rewilding (from field recordings by Richard Beason).
“With the entire year suddenly cancelled my writing and recording became all that was left," explains Durrant. "It was exhilarating with the recording immediately under closer scrutiny and the soul searching intense. As the world changed so did my music.
Several of Durrant’s recent concert tours have been designed to inspire discussion about climate change. But since his first Cycling Music tour in 2014 Durrant feels that both the political and the natural landscapes have deteriorated rapidly.
“Whilst intelligent politics remain an oxymoron it is re-wilding that now needs to become a beacon of hope for us all," he explains. "Re-wilding is cleansing, self balancing, nourishing, and carbon trapping; it subtly draws upon natural collaborators across impossible distances, and offers us humans a ready made new perspective complete with subterranean hard science that creates superterranean evidence for optimism. And this can’t come a moment too soon.
“We need to assist gently, watch intently and stand back. Just like composing music."
Joining Durrant on Rewilding is Gryphon's Brian Gulland on bassoon, crumhorns and recorders and percussionist Stephen Hiscock (Harrison-Birtwistle) whilst two of the Durrant children also appear – Daisy on accordion and brother Django Durrant on cajon and drums.
Rewilding will be available on all streaming platforms, also on sumptuous, gatefold 180g, vinyl and as hi-res downloads. You can view the artwork and tracklisting below.
Durrant will perform a live- stream launch event from Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham by Sea on the day of release (October 31) viewable on Facebook and YouTube with limited actual tickets available. Details here.
Richard Durrant: Rewilding
2. Forr All Mannkinne Nede
3. Knepp (The Return)
5. Step Gently
6. Triskelion (Tinners Rabbits)
7. Big Fat Earth Worm (Lumbricus Terestris)