Manuel, the conservatory cat, Bastien, the self-taught busker will tour on bicycles with a guitar and an ukulele from Bordeaux to Louisiana.
Manuel and I, Bastien, were introduced by a common friend in may 2014.
Even though we had a radically different access and education concerning music, we both experienced a "musical love at first sight”. We continue to play together as much as possible ever since, always improving, playing hours until our fingers bleed.
Being a bicycle freak and an experienced globe-trotter, my plan was to trip by myself to Louisiana in order to eventually get a proper music education. Manuel's plan was to go back to Mexico, his birthplace that he hadn’t seen in twelve years.
We decided to combine both our agendas, to live and experience together a great adventure and an epic trip.
We wish to leave Bordeaux in the beginning of August, following a bicycle path called the vélodyssée to Britanny.
Once there, with a little patience, luck, and the help of a couple of established local contacts, we wish to find a sailboat and a captain who would accept to transport two apprentice sailmen/musicians aboard, with their dismantled bicycles and their instruments.
Our final goal would be to get to Louisiana only thanks to our bodies and the nature's strength, in a nutshell, without ever using a thermic engine.
Since we started playing together, we found ourselves some gigs to play both in Bordeaux and around and also along our future path. We like to play in bars, restaurants, tea houses or any other place where people can take a break, sit and listen to music. We spontaneously propose to perform our music in any kind of establishment.
We also love to play on the streets, the only one stage where we don't need to ask or plan to play on.
We love to invite our friends to perform with us in the streets
Manuel’s instrument is named Isabelle, she is a Mexican classical guitar. Manuel feeds her scales at least three times a day, and spends at least half of his conscious time on it.
Manuel and Isabel at the Casa de Zadok & Aurore, in Cudos. Picture by François Guijarro
The instrument I play on is named Sherlock, he's a concert ukulele, a good and solid lad with a body made of brass. But it doesn’t belong to me. I broke mine in a bike accident three months ago in which I also broke my left collarbone and my beloved bicycle.
Sherlock resting on a couch.
We don't really like either microphones or our instruments to be plugged, so we will do it if necessary, but relunctantly.
During this journey, we wish to play for all kinds of audiences, at places where it's rare to encounter musicians. We often play for free, money is not the primary matter to us.
Sometimes we drop a hat on the ground, letting the people who want to be generous with us. What is the most interesting is what often happens when we don’t directly ask for money : Spontaneous encounters and invitations, human contact, this generosity that will never cease to amaze us.
it says "we accept smiles, critics, discussion, ciggies, drinks, Have a great Whit monday"
Waar dient de collecte voor
A helping hand from the community to get some equipment for this trip is all we need,so we can be as much autonomous as possible.
Also to help the friends that are helping us, following us, filming us, recording us, drawing us to make this project real.
We are used to live with very few and we would like to keep the trip expenses on a shoestring budget. We are not asking your money to maintain our way of life !
For this long trip we will need bits of equipment:
- A bike for Manuel
- A new ukulele for me (the one I'm using is a loan)
- A bike trailer,
- Bicycle bags
- Hammocks, sleeping bags, canvas cover so we can in case it is necessary sleep outside, even under the rain.
The people helping us :
- Marie Clergeaud, our manager, filming, taking pictures, organizing our schedule, setting gigs, feeding the feeds on our social media accounts, co-writing this project. Without her it would be impossible.
- Tatie Josée, for the beautiful drawings she made for us.
- Sonia Fedyszyn, for the English and Spanish awesome translations of this project
Dirt tracks with mountain bikes, picture taken by Manuel
Being used to bike trips, I learned on the road how to fix, set and maintain bicycles in the best riding condition with the minimum costs. As for the accomodation, we wish to use the different internet hospitality exchange as Bewelcome, Couchsurfing, Warmshowers, on which I have built active profiles and contacts for years.
We love to play with our fellow musician friends, all of them. Picture by Miguel de Brito
Along our trip, we will promote the bicycle as a mean of transportation, as healthy for the bodies as for our planet. Also we will share our love and passion for the music we love, spontaneous, alive and acoustic. We will teach to play our instruments to whoever is interested.
We would like to stay open for the conversation, for spontaenous encounters and invitations.