Hi ! My name is Ben, I like singing and also, cake.
Early 2015 I decided to grab a couple of Ukuleles, a Backpack, and head off to start a big musical and cultural Project. Let me tell you a bit more about it:
Ukulele Road Trips, as it says on the box, is Ukuleles, and Road Trips. But with a closer look , you'll find it's also all these things: Adventure, Storytelling, Songs and vagabond Melodies, History, as well as discussions about the World we live in today.
The aim of the project is to share beautiful and exciting aspects of distant lands, putting their most inspiring aspects into music. I am a songwriter and love to let myself be inspired by my surroundings, their history, and by the locals I meet as I travel. Original songs, pictures and impressions of the discovered lands are shared on the BLOG. There, you can follow the adventure, stop by stop, city to city (or completely deserted mountains to completely deserted beaches) while the Road Trip unfolds.
In stops/cities that are inspiring to the team (the two ukuleles, the backpack, and me), a blog post is shared, with images, text and an original song. The theme of these can very much vary as you will discover clicking through the Blog. Sometimes history and heritage, sometimes modern-day and humane aspects, other times, a wild inspiration of sunny heights, dancing over a stretch of ROCKS!
And in between extended periods of road tripping, singing, and sometimes dancing, and if it can make it home in one bunch, the Team then records the Albums of the adventure. You can check out the Albums that have been released up until now on the ALBUMS page.
So, lots of singing, walking, busses, and trains. But there is deeper sense to all this crazyness:
On the Blog, I joyfully roam the planet strumming and rhyming. But that is not the end game. Ukulele Road Trips wishes to take you to places you would not have thought of going to as a tourist. The aim is to make it to places that sometimes might not make the top of many to do lists. And from there, inspire you, share their beauty, or even teach you a bit about their history in a humorous song.
And this where the importance of the fun and interesting Podcast comes in:
When I arrive in a bigger city, I put my backpack down and start looking for knowledgeable young locals. We sit down, and in a conversation interrupted by little (topical) ukulele songs, we have an extended chat. With 2 to 5 of us sitting around the mic, the podcast gives us the time to talk. About culture, about history, traditions, funny sayings, and about what really makes their country and city unique.
That is an aspect I love exploring, and that is at the very heart of the project. To really show what makes a place special, the podcast lets me share the voices of those who know it best. Identity is shaped by huge variety of elements, and through these talks, we get to put our finger on a few of them. If the BLOG is walking through fields and gazing over them, the Podcast is sitting down next to a flower, and really having a proper, admiring look.
All the Podcasts are free to download (and comment) on the PODCAST page.
You can also download them straight to your iphone from the Podcasts app or on iTunes, and they are also on Stitcher.
Here's one episode you can start off with: the Sun&Sea-City Varna Podcast.
As I travel through the visited countries, my aim is also to share my passion for song with those who would not normally come across something like this. For example, in Ukraine, I spent some time visiting orphanages in the region of Cherkassy and sharing my ukulele playing with the kids. I also really enjoyed giving them music lessons. It is the most uplifting and wonderful of experiences. The ukulele is an instrument that will always raise a smile, especially from adorable and curious kids, and their receptivity was inspiring.
Finances permitting, I am looking forward to continue to do many such activities as the road trips continue (touch wood!).
So that was the quick look at what Ukulele Road Trips joyfully aims to achieve. If you have a minute more, I'd be happy to talk to you about the personal philosophy that drives me to do this, and why I enjoy it so much:
Human beings are creative everywhere. Every culture finds new ways of expressing itself, never before found, and never to be repeated again. In the way their people dress, draw, sing, celebrate or dance, every culture finds its own voice to translate innate creativity into codes, traditions and inspirations.
"Withtout a Thrace", about the disappeared ancient Thracian culture, is a meditation of sorts on the subject.
As I travel, I let myself be inspired by these specific characteristics, of people, and of places, so that they may drip through into my compositions and my lyrics. Both trips, physical and musical, can then be on the same wave-length and invite you honestly to discovery.
how you can be a part of the adventure
By contributing to the existence if Ukulele Road Trips, you will very much be part of the project, and you can do this of course by getting ALBUMS from the website, or by making a direct DONATION to the project.
Ukulele Road Trips is also now on PATREON where you can become a patron of the project and receive exclusives for it!
drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
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