Monday, January 24, 2005

Portland Bike Ensemble, my review

You guessed it, playing their bicycles as musical instruments.

It was "interesting."

Might have been better as an acoustical, rather than amplified concert.

I went to a performance January 24 in Bellingham. It was part of a dance combolateralation.

Lots can be done with bicycles, but it seemed like missed opportunities here. Mostly it sounded like rubbing the mike across tire tread. Probably would have sounded the same rubbing mike on a rubber floor mat, carpet, jacket sleeve or what ever. Didn't really sound like it came from the bike. It was more about mike and amplifier sounds, I think.

More could have been done bringing the authentic sounds of the bike forward. Plucking spokes, freewheel clicking. There was some of that, but I think it might have worked better as an acoustical concert, or at least less reliance on the amplification.

Dancing was interesting also. The main dancer was handsome.

Being a young person, the dance was a bit into that common American energy of the "wild man."

As the sounds groaned, the dancers tossed bikes around and pounded wheels to the floor. Good thing they didn't bash each other, accidentally, on the head.

Poor wheels probably got "trashed." Someone with a truing stand will be needed unless these are "dumpster bikes."

Another missed opportunity for collaborating dance and biking is the graceful stretching that some cyclists do. Biking can evolve to stretching and then to dancing. Something they might think about experimenting with.

I enjoy riding up to Vancouver and then going dancing. The dancing makes a nice cool down from riding.

Of course it was their show, not mine.

My mind if full of "if I was doing it" ideas.

Another part of the performance was a video of interviews with Bellingham people about dance. That was very good.

All in all it was an interesting show. Maybe the performers will find this in Google and think about some of my ideas. Then again, it's their show, not mine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a really creative musical use of bikes, rent the DVD of the animated film, The Triplets of Belleville.