JS Bach walked almost 400 kilometres to meet Buxtehude and hear him play. For Mahler walking was life-saving, and echoes from the Austrian countryside found their way into his symphonies. Roland Peelman, the Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival, explores the history and the joy of walking, and looks at whether it has a direct link to creativity.

Roland Peelman walking through the Dolomites in Italy in 2019. Photo © Florian Peelman

Walking, putting one foot in front of another, has been a defining feature of the human condition, ever since homo erectus woke up some six million years ago, stood up and looked around scratching its head. Free hands allowed for the throwing of stones while moving...