International musician is latest to join the PianoPorte challenge

Jez Colborne
Jez Colborne

An international musician and composer is the latest person to join a team of pianists aiming to cycle a grand piano along part of Le Tour’s route.

Jez Colborne will be among the 15 musicians who will take on the challenge to play the specially composed “Piano Cycle” music.

The team will be taking part in The Grand Departs, a musical and cycling challenge to pull a grand piano up Cragg Road by bicycle using new invention the PianoPorte as part of the 100-day Yorkshire Festival leading up to this year’s Tour de France.

Jez said: “I love the idea of objects being made to produce a piece of music. The PianoPorte sounds amazing and really fits my passion for all things industrial.

“I can’t wait to see what it’s like to play music whilst being pulled up a hill! Who knows what we will encounter along the way.”

Leading the team is Kathryn Stott, one of Britain’s most imaginative musicians and most engaging pianists.

David Nelson, artistic director of The Grand Departs and composer of “Piano Cycle”, said: “I am delighted that Jez has joined our team of musicians. He doesn’t read music and is a great improviser. We expect that his interpretation of ‘Piano Cycle’ will add an exciting new dimension to the piano music.”

This challenge will give spectators an opportunity to see Jez in action ahead of his world premiere of “Gift” on June 14 during the Bradford Festival. “Gift” is a 15-minute new piece of music commissioned as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games cultural programme.

The Grand Departs will take place on Saturday, April 5.

It will begin from St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd, where a free send-off event including a Handmade Arts Market of local artists and makers will be held from 10am until 3pm.

Musical performances will start at 11am. The climb up Cragg Vale will start at noon and is expected to finish in the early evening. The Grand Departs is being organised by Imove and Hebden Bridge Piano Festival, working with Calderdale-based sculptor Andy Plant, who is building the bespoke PianoPorte.