Richard’s journey coming to an end

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A long journey starts to come to a conclusion when Shoreham-based guitar virtuoso Richard Durrant offers an evening of music by the Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre on Thursday, April 7.

Shortly afterwards Richard will be heading off to Paraguay to perform the music of Barrios on the anniversary of his birthday May 5 in the capital Asuncion.

The birthday concert will be the official launch of Richard’s new album The Number 26 Bus To Paraguay, which will also be available at the “soft” launch in Shoreham.

As Richard says, he could have called the album something more sober along the lines of The Music Of Agustin Barrios: “But I wanted something much more quirky and much more personal.”

The point is that this is a personal album. The number 26 bus is the bus Richard used to take to Hove as a lad for his guitar lessons at around about the time he fell in love with Barrios’ music.

“I just found his guitar music so characterful. I heard it when I was a kid, and it was so like the music of Trumpton and Camberwick Green. It had that immediate guitar-y attractiveness. I was immediately transfixed by it.

“It is actually very hard to play. He had the most enormous hands, and he was a wonderful guitarist. He was a touring concert guitarist, and on an equal footing was his life as a composer. He wrote for his concerts.

“His pieces are tough, but they are more than worth it. I would say that he is the greatest guitarist-composer that has ever lived. It’s the volume of his work, the quality of his work and the unusual nature of his work.

“When you learn it, you get such a mixed bag of influences. He was influenced by Bach and was aware of European music. He was a very cultured man. He spoke a lot of different languages and was aware of the world, and that’s in his compositions - but they are also drenched in Latin-American, Paraguayan magical realism. It’s like 100 Years Of Solitude crossed with Trumpton!”

Tickets for Richard’s talk/supper/guitar recital at the Ropetackle are £12, available on 01273 464440 or www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk.