This entry was posted on Friday, December 7th, 2007 at 12:40 pm and is filed under Advertising, Misc, Weird stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman has been shown on British television every year since 1982. Nobby Holder is wheeled out every year because of Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody from 1973. Could the bicycle world’s equivalent be last year’s wonderful composition commissioned by Specialized?
The US bike company commissioned experimental musician – and cyclist – Flip Baber to produce a short orchestral piece to accompany an animated rear cog. And, yes, the road and mountain bike used for the twanging, banging and plucking were from the big squiggly S.
Flip Baber - aka Johnny Random - was commissioned to write the Christmas card piece in November last year.
He said: “”I recorded all the takes at different points during one day since there was construction going on near my studio. The next day I edited the sounds and took the best takes and then everything was interpreted and composed within about 4-5 hours, including the mixdown.
“I came up with some really far out sounds in my bike recordings, but couldn’t use them on this project because they were either too dissonant or weren’t easily recognizable as ‘bike’ sounds.”
The ‘happy holidays’ card and music still lives on the Specialized website. The piece is a glockenspiel-free rendition of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from ‘The Nutcracker Suite.’
The glockenspiel and clarinet melody was created with spokes. The cello and violin pizzicatos were created with plucked derailleur cables. The tingly triangle was a bash on to a disc brake.The percussion was a medley of shifting, coasting, finger over turning spokes, chain pulls, braking, clipping into pedals, back-spinning, and air pssssing out of tyres.
This isn’t the first time bicycles have been used in a musical composition. In 1980 Godfried-Willem Raes first staged his Second Symphony for ‘Singing Bicycles’, an “open air event scored for a minimum of twelve cyclists with their own bicycles.”