View Full Version : Crazy Bicycle Riding Cellist (environmental bent) looking for places to play!
31-12-2009, 02:53 PM
I'm a profession 'alternative' cellist (plays styles other than classical even though classically trained) and composer (www.theunconventionalcellist.com) who retreated to a small ten acre patch of land in Central Victoria (near Clunes and Talbot) some 5 years ago. I live on this property with my companion in life, Andy, a truly remarkable and resourceful man (www.mechanarchy.com.au), and together we are working towards obtaining a high level of self sufficiency via permaculture principals, creativity, and native revegetation.
We've just finished some eco guest accommodation (www.thoreaus-talbot.com.au) and we do a fair bit of touring around Australia on our bicycles (performing original 'alternative' cello music with accompanying moving images to appreciative audiences). We're keen to meet other like minded people either in our local area, throughout Australia or further abroad. Would love to visit some like minded communities and play some original music!
For some pics of our relatively new veggie patch (had to build buildings to harvest rain water in the first couple of years) go to www.thoreaus-talbot.com.au/accommodation/Experiences.html
04-01-2010, 05:14 AM
Welcome to the forum krule22, sounds like you have a great life set up for yourselves there. I trust you will find what you came for.
12-01-2010, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the welcome Grahame. We certainly have a wonderful life here, although it can be a bit tough when your only form of transport is a human powered bicycle and you play the cello. Should've listened to my mum when she suggested to me, at the tender age of 11, that I play the violin instead of the cello, "A little easier to cart around". (Andy has just built a prototype 'Solar Electric Push Trailer' for his cargo bike to help him cope with a bung knee and mine is on it's way :-)
As to finding what I came here for, lets see......I'm in the early stages of a plan to do an eight week tour up to Nimbin (with Andy) in September/October. No set route yet but I suspect there will be some train travel involved, we're fit but not that fit!! If anyone is interested in helping to find places to play and places to stay (in NSW during September and October) please contact me. In 2008 I did a four state tour, back when I was sensible and rode a motorcycle - http://www.theunconventionalcellist.com/gypsylife/2008%20DTBD%20tour.html and I found that the most enjoyable performances were in those communities with an alternative and creative element.
Looking forward to meeting some of you later this year.
12-02-2010, 12:25 PM
Hi and welcome:)
No the Cello rules! The movie "The Witches of Eastwick" did it for me :)
When you get your guest accommodation going feel free to advertise it in the Businesses section of the Forum
I have daughters who sing, play the violin and viola so we maybe should all get together one day !? ( I just play with plants).
There is nothing sensible about riding a motocycle. You loose too much skin and drivers of cars don't register you in their brains as a "car/person/thing" to be avoided !
12-02-2010, 07:16 PM
Would love to catch up one day.....I'll have your daughters using guitar picks and being creative on their violin and viola in no time (and their teachers frowning)!!
Yes, I still have skin but have to say the car/person/thing aint much better on a bicycle.....a massive cello in a silver case strapped on the back rack does help though ;-)
Watch for increases in URO sightings on my future tours... unidentified rolling object!
13-02-2010, 07:33 PM
14-02-2010, 07:40 AM
URO - Unidentified Rolling Object
(words inspired by Kimbo, thanks Kimbo)
My true passion is evident in the music I 'now' play.
With my cello at hand (weapon of choice), I head out into the world, to play with all I have.
Words, yes, words are important to me now, as they offer no doubt as to the passion at hand.
With cello and words my message will be heard but I doubt there will be many who can listen.
For to listen to this music one must truly want freedom.
Free from fear, from greed and from conformity.
My new album 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear' will have something very important to say, but the really important sounds are yet to come. I have 33 years of existence at hand, I am learning much, I am seeing much, to this there is no end.
This is a pic from the tour test run in April 2009....... We've since made a few mods and done a number of mini tours (less than 250k), new pics coming soon!
14-02-2010, 08:26 AM
For to listen to this music one must truly want freedom.
Free from fear, from greed and from conformity.
That's my kind of music.
I found a very old copy of Thoreau's collected works (essays, poems and letters, and Walden) a few weeks back. I have been reading from it recently, and let me tell you, it's 'music' to my ears.
Peace to both you and Andy.
Cheerio for now, Markus.
14-02-2010, 11:32 AM
And, as we both know, the words.....
"For to listen to this music one must truly want freedom.
Free from fear, from greed and from conformity."
......are a result of a deep friendship with Mechandy. He has challenged me like none other, and I relish the challenge. I am more myself than I ever was....my eyes are opening fully. Makes me wonder why we are so adverse to challenge?
You are welcome here anytime....it is not a prerequisite to read Thoreau, although it may help a little.
14-02-2010, 05:22 PM
You might be interested in this "permaculture Music" (!)
I like the arrangements, and the music, and the lady is obviously well trained, creative, intelligent, thoughtful and multi- talented.
However i think sometimes the message is a bit heavy handed. Too heavy handed to make an impact.
I would like something a bit more of a parable /ballad (The political ditty 'Once a jolly swag man' or even nursery rhymes all once had a topical message) or maybe the words from The Little Prince would make a good song.
15-02-2010, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the link to Robyn's music but it's not my style, way off in fact. My new cd will be out by the end of March this year so I'll post a preview here in Mid March once I've got a final mix. There will be only one song with words, the rest will be instrumental, using my very 'real' 130 year old French Cello. As to "The Little Prince", well it was my favorite book as a child, it led me to a passion for all things French, including my cello.
As to 'Too heavy handed to make an impact'.....well, perhaps that is the case for Robyn's music (?insert your own opinion here?).....as for me, I find the 'heavy handed' approach to be amazing, inspiring, deeply moving and incredibly powerful...IF DONE WELL, and here is one of the best examples (and it has a very 'strange' connection with permaculture...)
"Strange Fruit" by Abel Meeropol
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
Click on link to watch Billie Holiday sing with unbridled passion!!!
I'm along way off this level, but I'll work for the rest of my life in it's pursuit and probably die trying.
Music with meaning. True Passion.
21-02-2010, 01:37 PM
looking forward to hearing more from you.
07-03-2010, 04:38 AM
WARNING: URO (Unidentified Rolling Object) has been sighted in Melbourne. It reportedly disappeared into a Recording Studio somewhere near the Preston Market. If confronted by URO, do not approach, rather, 'Duck and Cover', especially the ears, as it has been known to emit unusual frequency combinations that may affect cerebral pathways. Sample of offending sound/s for the purposes of identification and self preservation coming soon.
(Thanks m ;-)
07-03-2010, 06:07 AM
reading that I could,nt help thinking of the Jaws sound track.
17-03-2010, 07:20 AM
Perhaps if I painted some big scary teeth with blood red gums onto my cello case the killer car drivers would make more of an effort to evade contact?
Jaws? Yes, perhaps the 'Jaws of Life'....lol.
The joy of playing the Jaws movie theme on the cello cannot be underestimated. Children across Australia were in raptures at my interpretation, I'm sure a few of them went on to learn cello just because of this music. And given that this theme music is essentially based on the repeated interval of a semitone, it will be hard not to include a little 'Jaws' in the music that I play. Even Mozart was unable to resist using the Jaws semitone motive.
For an update on cd progress visit
There is just a little more to do before I indulge my friends here in a pre release sneak preview ;-)
16-04-2010, 07:56 AM
Well, it's all taking longer than I expected but we're almost there. Final Mastering of the cd to take place on Monday the 19th in the Bat Cave (best way to describe a mastering suite)....and if I'm happy with the changes (I tend to be rather pedantic) then a sneak preview will be on it's way.
CHORUS of title track
"The Knife that Cuts a Tear"
Life is here now,
Feet placed firmly on the ground.
To the truth that never yields.
Like the Knife that Cuts a Tear.
This is Freedom,
Living without fear.
And what's next after the cd is released.....back to the veggie patch!
16-04-2010, 12:31 PM
Good luck with the session, Kris. Based on the lyrics contained in the chorus of the title track, I am sure you will produce beautiful music that will resonate within the body and the mind. Looking forward to listening to the CD. Peace to both you and Andy, Mark.
11-05-2010, 08:13 PM
Thanks Mark, I hope you enjoy the rest of the lyrics (which can be found by following the link below).
As promised, here is the 'Permaculture Forum Friends' Sneak Preview (click on link) of my soon to be released album 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear'. My legs are worn out after all the riding but the results are well worth it, as I'm sure you will agree. You do need quicktime to listen to the tracks.....let me know if you have any difficulties (or if you'd like me to make the tracks available via Windows media or Realtime).
I'll leave this page/link up for a couple of weeks until the album is officially released. Hope you enjoy.
All the best,
15-05-2010, 07:37 PM
I've solved the quicktime problem in my link and now everyone should be able to listen to the music now. Hopefully you wont be afraid of this little media playing widget (as I am), it's connected to this organisation called Tunecore that will be delivering my music to Itunes and Amazon Mp3 in a couple of weeks.
You, the followers of this thread, really are some of the very first people (apart from close friends) to hear these three pieces and I've been very eager to see if anyone connects with any or all of these pieces. This cd hasn't just been about writing beautiful music, it's involved a great deal of deep thought and reflection (helped along by some pretty deep conversations with my companion, Andy). The words to 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear' really sum up the meaning behind all the music on this album.
As to the packaging (which has been very important to me), the cd will be presented in a recycled cardboard tray, printed using soya based ink, with the cd being held in place by a piece of cork (which really looks quite amazing). So the only plastic in the whole package is the actual cd, which as we all know in the permaculture world, has a great many uses!
Thanks for your interest over the months.....the veggie garden beckons me, weeding!!
17-05-2010, 01:54 PM
I have listened to all three tracks this morning. The first two I can best describe as 'hauntingly beautiful', and 'very deep'. The last, the title track, affected me differently from the first two, more 'uplifting'. I love the lyrics of the latter, and am sure that it will cause many to stop and think about the deeper meaning/s of life.
Thanks for sharing, I look forward to the album release.
Much warmth, Mark.
17-05-2010, 09:12 PM
Just listened to the tracks Kristin and i thought they were exquisite! you have a beautiful voice too and I look forward to hearing more. have you had any radio play yet? I wish you the best of luck with the album.
18-05-2010, 08:11 AM
Thank you Kristen. I have been enjoying your music and voice and words.You have a touching gift .Good luck and I wish you all the best.
18-05-2010, 02:22 PM
Thanks Mark, Dan and Permasculptor, I really appreciate and value your feedback as I prepare to take this music out into the world. It is wonderful to know that there are some people in this world with whom I can truly 'share' this music with.
An important clarification.
I have written the lyrics, composed the music and performed cello (and viola) for all the 9 tracks on this album. I am, however, blessed with the most unfortunate singing voice (that's why cello has become my voice) and as such I have asked a very talented singer to be involved in the recording of the only track with an instrument other than cello or viola, that is to say, voice. Her name is Sam Lohs, she grows her own vegetables and she is the vocalist on 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear'. http://www.myspace.com/samlohs
My apologies for not making this clear, I currently have my head in a world I don't necessarily want to be a part of.....the world of colourful plastic value$.....there is something very appealing about becoming a 'Gypsy'.
24-05-2010, 09:41 AM
Well, the Cat is officially out of the Bag and the Big Birdie has landed ;-) so I've removed the sneak preview permaculture link as the album has gone 'live' in Itunes and Amazon Mp3.....a little earlier than expected. The physical high quality audio cd's will be arriving any day.
If you still want to have a listen to a couple of tracks you can go to www.myspace.com/theunconventionalcellist
For more info on cd and downloads go to www.theunconventionalcellist.com/Creativity/TheKnifethatCutsaTear.html
I am performing at the Maryborough Railway Station Cafe in VICTORIA on Friday the 4th of June...great food, wine and music...the cd will be available on the night. Good idea to book, performance is free;
Other than that, I'm polishing up my bike and my cello, getting ready to ride off into the sunset. "Security is the ability to accept Insecurity."
24-05-2010, 04:06 PM
Amazingly beautiful! I'd love to put it through a big sound system and lie on the floor and "feel" the music through my skin.
Best wishes for the concert.
25-05-2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks Eco4560, and to all those who have followed this thread. Over the past 6 months I have read many of the comments and threads made by various people on this forum, and I sincerely believe that there is a great depth of understanding, caring and knowledge to be found here, along with determination, persistence, and occasional desperation, to bring about a positive change in this world. Personally I aspire to make a difference in the world not only with the music that I play but also with the way I live my life. It appears many of you approach life in the same way, with great integrity, so I know you understand the challenges I/we face.
On a lighter note, I joined up to Twitter and Facebook (already had Myspace) in an attempt to do the social network thing...as is recommended to musicians as a 'marketing' tool.....in absolute frustration I am attempting to turn 'Twitter' into a deep and meaningful tool for expression...... surely I am destined to fail! lol (Should just stick to what I know best....playing the Cello) ;-)
29-05-2010, 10:33 AM
This will probably be the closest I ever get to having a baby (fingers crossed XXX). There has been much labour involved but fortunately no physical pain, no drugs either! The next bit's pretty similar also, a lot of hard work bringing it up and out into this world..... being inanimate and unable to talk back is a real plus here. (Yes, I failed to bring 'meaning' to twitter and my mind has being somewhat twittered from the attempt, forgive me for I know not what I do.)
06-06-2010, 07:46 AM
Friday nights performance was fantastic. The venue was booked out with 60-70 people in attendance and everyone had a wonderful evening.
The following day Andy had been invited to be a guest presenter at the Maryborough World Environment Day. (Despite been only 50k from Castlemaine, Maryborough VIC is not known for it's environmentally aware or caring people.) It was a good turn out of concerned residents venting frustrations at council and government restrictions and the array of useless and consumptive devices and services aimed at measuring common sense. The most often used word in the four presentations on the day was 'think', it's time to 'think' about everything that we do, about how we use energy.
At the end of the session, Andy and I got on our fully loaded bicycles, and slowly rode the 20k home through patchy rain and a reasonably strong head wind. I always have a such a great sense of freedom on the bike!
14-06-2010, 07:45 AM
Rig ready for touring, well, almost.;)
Solar Electric Assist trailer made by Andy of Mechanarchy. Cello, 130 year old French instrument with a 'Stunningly Beautiful Tone'. Bike, funky Yuba Mundo Cargo Bike. Cellist, young enough and Crazy enough.
Question is where am I going to go, any ideas? Looking for venues like Halls, Arty Cafes, Wineries, Peoples Properties, Art Gallery, Inside, Outside... organising a tour takes much work over several months, so any help, contact or ideas are much appreciated!
14-06-2010, 09:28 AM
Woodford folk festival at New Years.
14-06-2010, 07:26 PM
Bravo. This is great to see. I often think about how I could travel around on my bike with my cat in tow. Unfortunately, i think its probably easier to carry a cello than a cat, especially in Australia.
21-06-2010, 11:03 AM
You know, there is the old term 'Catgut' strings....of course, they rarely use animal gut for cello strings nowadays ;)
And yes, a cello is far more practical than a cat for bicycle touring, but that really doesn't say much does it!?
As to festival playing, great opportunities if you can 'get in' (I will keep trying)......perhaps I can become a reno-gade cellist, hide my cello under a tarp, roll the URO into the festival grounds, and subvert the audience with deep and meaningful music??
I AM very interested in communities and individuals, bringing the cello and my music to the people, non exclusive..........people who can afford to can buy a cd or make a donation to help fund the tour, others might provide a place to stay/camp or some food. So I'm looking for contacts, people who'd like a cello performance within their town, at their local school, or even on their own property.
25-06-2010, 10:10 AM
Some exciting news,
ebikes.ca has just announced that the "June 15th Cycle Analyst Giveaway prize goes to Kristin Rule of Australia"
You can read more about it by visiting their website @ www.ebikes.ca
ebikes.ca, (based in Vancouver, Canada), creator of the 'Cycle Analyst', has kindly offered one of these amazing devices in support of my Crazy Bicycle Riding Cellist adventures. The 'Cycle Analyst' in combination with Andy's unique Solar Electric Assist 'Watt-Bot' trailer is going to make my upcoming tours so much more exciting, and for all the right reasons!
With the 'Cycle Analyst' I'll be able to set an amp limit so as to not risk blowing a fuse on some of those rather steep inclines, accurately monitor my energy use thus making sure I have enough power to get to the next concert/town, educate myself as to the most efficient and effective way to use the 'Watt-Bot' and provide some pretty cool 'specs' for those technically minded people (something I'm aspiring to be ;-).
Add to this, some cool LED lights and a very lightweight and powerful amplifier so I can play/practice/perform absolutely anywhere (also available at ebike.ca) and I think this Crazy Bicycle Riding Cellist come URO (Unidentified Rolling Object) is going to be a sight and sound to be reckoned with!!
Also, a very special thank you to all those who have supported my music and craziness by purchasing or downloading a copy of my latest album :-)
17-07-2010, 11:04 AM
Whilst I wait for warmer bicycle tour friendly weather.....here's an example of me playing live (still learning how to upload videos!)
The original composition is called 'Insight' (4th mov - 'The Enemies of Learning').
18-07-2010, 05:24 PM
Alex, from 'Whatever Takes Your Fancy', has just completed an extensive and thought provoking review of 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear'. Alex has an eclectic and extensive musical appreciation which shines through in this eloquent critique. To read more please visit the link below and feel free to leave a comment on Alex's site in support if you are enjoying 'The Knife that Cuts a Tear';
Other good news this week, the 'Cycle Analyst' (from ebikes.ca) has now arrived so the fun begins in ernest with the final tweaking of the 'rig' in readiness for the upcoming tours and warmer weather. Thanks once again to Justin and team from ebikes.ca for their generous support and advice.
Also, all Compact Disk sales are now being carried out via 'Bandcamp' (see www.kristinrule.com for more details and links or go direct to www.kristinrule.bandcamp.com). 'Bandcamp' is proving to be a wonderful tool for emerging artists with all proceeds going direct to the artist. I'm also able to offer a free digital download (mp3 or flac) with each Compact Disk sale so you can listen to the music immediately. Alternatively you can download the digital version of album in the high quality 'flac' format for $14 AUD (cheaper than Itunes AUST).
Thanks once again for your interest and support.
P.S The weeding is progressing well, with a little help from the chooks. Still, the veggie patch is in great need of attention....but then I enjoy a challenge!
19-07-2010, 11:24 AM
“Nature of Reality”- the breathless sigh of the earth, in ultimate wisdom, at one with suffering and barer of untold beauty, this all encompassing wonderment, this mystery, life.
These video recordings are LIVE. There is no pre recorded music. I create layers using a looping device which records my playing live.
27-05-2012, 06:29 AM
Kristin Rule, aka, 'The Unconventional Cellist', and Andy 'Mechanarchy', completed a 1,000k Bicycle Tour of Tasmania in December 2011 and January 2012. They rode Yuba Mundo V4's (23kg), each ported 45-50kg of extra weight, and they were assisted up the crazy Tassie hills via Andy's custom built Solar Electric Assist bicycle trailers.
Title track is 'The Awakening' (original live looping piece by Kristin Rule). Recorded Live in performance at the Cygnet Folk Festival 2012 (using Ableton Live & Softstep).
For more info about this crazy bicycle riding cellist, visit;
27-05-2012, 06:46 AM
For legal downloads (ie, supporting the artist) http://kristinrule.bandcamp.com/ For illegal 'free' downloads (ie, not supporting artist), choose your torrent site!
27-05-2012, 07:53 AM
27-05-2012, 04:51 PM
Thanks Thanks Thank you......
28-05-2012, 02:37 PM
Hi URO pilot, congratulation for your music and unconventional approach !
I build UBOs (Unidentified Bowed Objects) so I thought I'd share a pic...
You are also very courageous to trail such a valuable cello as yours on a bicycle, I guess it is well insured ...
30-05-2012, 07:02 PM
A very beautiful instrument that you have created, avant garde(ner) I love the sympathetic strings!
Yes, my cello is very beautiful also, but I do not hold the value of my cello higher than the value of my own 'living life fully', hence, there is no courage required. Actually, I 'do' have insurance but doubt that they will look favourably on my mode of transport, infact, I believe there is a cause pertaining to 'risky' activity.
Interestingly, there is no damage even after many 1000's of k's with my cello on a bicycle, yet, in my former 'profligate energy consumption' life, it only took one plane flight to create major damage to my cello...and my insurance company covered this!!
Shame we don't attribute the 'true' risk in society, for surely it's more dangerous for the world if one drive's a car and takes passage on a plane than if one ride's a bicycle?
30-05-2012, 08:21 PM
Yes you are right about plane flights and instruments damage. Sadly, airlines are a major source of income for luthiers and instruments restorers ;)
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