This is a blog about the progress of the LO-FI CYCLE, an interactive bicycle musical instrument. Commissioned by the TEMPO AIPP program.
LO FI CYCLE is an interactive, playable musical instrument sculpture made from a bicycle.
The bicycle will be “prepared” in the manner of the 20th century practice of preparing a piano, first developed by composer / artist John Cage. That is to say, the bike will be outfitted with an array of small acoustic noisemakers that produce a spectrum of unique sounds when operated. For example, some of the spokes of the wheel will be replaced by guitar and bass wire that will be struck when the wheels are spun. Bulb horns and bells will be manipulated with rivets that vibrate when they are activated. The bicycle will also be equipped with contact microphones and a 1/4” input, providing the potential for amplification in live performances that are aided by a battery operated amplifier.
LO FI CYCLE is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades (including, of course, his Bicycle Wheel), John Cage’s prepared piano work, and Frank Zappa’s famous performance on bike on the Steve Allen Show.