In cased you missed it in comments, music-with-bikes resources continue to pour in. If you haven’t found yourself inspired to make music with bikes yet, this should do the trick.

If you’re thinking of doing this yourself, here are some great thoughts on using the bike as a music controller:

Discussion: Bicycle as a Max/MSP interactive controller [Cycling ’74 Forums; thanks, Vlad!]

Reader Michael Una has rigged his bike (above) with magnets and magnetic switches to control a mounted drum machine. The result is a wildly whimsical bike noisier than any bells and honkers could ever make possible: (Mike, if you have a link to that NPR interview once it’s posted, do send it!)

Michael Una Beat Bike

While this is perhaps best-suited to Create Digital Motion, Adam Matta (above) makes art using his bike, Jackson Pollack style. This is all-analog, but it reminds me of the Bikes Against Bush graffiti bike, which used a wireless connection to trigger computer-controlled, custom (non-permanent) paint patterns. It got the talented artist, Joshua Kinberg, in trouble with the law (nothing like bikes, political protest, and graffiti to rile up the NYPD). Adam’s work is more abstract, and might get you started in a digital or non-digital kinetic art project of your own:

Adam Matta Bike Art [thanks, Daryl!]

And added to the compositions for bikes, Mauricio Kagel has another piece of music. I think we need something new, then, like a Segway Symphony.

After the jump, my personal favorite: Frank Zappa playing bicycle music on the Steve Allen show. Or trying to, anyway; Steve Allen is kind of a jerk here and keeps cutting him off, because he seems to miss the point. Best line (paraphrasing here):

How long have you been playing bicycle?

About two weeks.

Listen to the beautiful whistling sound he gets out of the handlebars. Technically not “digital music” but note that what a lot of these projects have in common is amplification. The microphone unlocks all kinds of hidden sonic worlds not experienced in previous centuries, just by making the inaudible audible.


Music for Bicycles: Ensembles, Symphonies, and Bikelophones

Nutcracker Suite Played Exclusively on Bicycle Parts