This summer, some friends and I are cycling from London to Norwich and back on a musical bicycle pilgrimage, Song Cycle. I’m looking forward to it very much and have been gradually increasing the amount of cycling I do so that I’m not completely knackered by the journeys.
I’ve also been looking at repertoire, which is proving to be a bit more tricky. I will be limited in the number of instruments I can carry with me, and my joints are not responding well to increased piano and organ practice. And to be honest, there just isn’t that much music about journeys and pilgrimages that is easily adaptable to two or three voices, with a couple of us maybe doubling an instrument.
So, I’ve decided to write some.
GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope’s true gage;
And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.
–Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)
These words were suggested by Joanna Lewis, who will be cycling and singing with me. As usual, this is licensed under CC BY-SA which means you can use it, for free, without my permission — but you must credit me and release any derivative works (recordings and the like) under a similar license. I actually want you to share it. I have written it without being paid, so if you want to have a look at how to support me that would be great too.
If you want to hear us perform this, and other music for the pilgrimage, there will be a concert at St Andrew’s Leytonstone on Saturday, 17th May. The time is yet to be confirmed but I’m hoping to have a poster and EventBrite tickets all sorted out by Monday. Half the proceeds will go toward the Organ Fund at St Andrew’s, and half toward our pilgrimage expenses. It would be great to see you there.