Composer wrings full orchestra out of one bicycle - BikeBiz

Composer wrings full orchestra out of one bicycle

An experimental musician has used a derailleur cable fed through a guitar amp & other bike sounds to create an iTunes single.
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American composer Flip Baber – aka Johnnyrandom - has released an iTunes single made from sounds generated from his bicycle.

'Bespoken' is his debut single. It "explores the full potential of sounds generated from bicycles and their components, transcending the role of traditional instrumentation as the accepted method for creating beautiful and thought-provoking music," said Baber.

A promotional video featuring a short version of the single has been published on

 This isn't the first time Baber has made music from a bicycle. In 2006, as reported by, he produced a short orchestral piece to accompany an animated rear cog which was that year's digital Christmas card from US bike brand, Specialized. The piece was a glockenspiel-free rendition of Tchaikovsky's 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' from 'The Nutcracker Suite.'

'Bespoken' is a much more ambitious piece. Many of the sounds are recognisable, such as air being released out of a presta valve, but others are far less easy to pin down.

to get some distortion and vibrato." 

I've bought a copy of 'Bespoken' on iTunes: it's excellent (especially the ethereal sounds conjured out of the derailleur cable). In 2008, inspired by Baber's earlier work, I recorded a whole bunch of bicycle sounds and gave the .wavs to an English composer. He came up with the music used on this video showing the names of bicycle parts:


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