Monday 7th December
December 7th, 2015
So we rode up & down dale on & off road, got lost, very wet, fell off. It was incredible & somehow not hard. Camaraderie, great vegan food, thank you – dry clothes on arrival in Brighton and a huge warm floor for us all to sleep on. Then we’re up before dawn & riding only 23km to Newhaven for a 4 hour ferry to Dieppe, France – though we have to have a take down the flag moment round the back before we embark. Needing to keep the authorities sweet at every moment. #COP21
Sunday 6th December
December 6th, 2015
8am Holy Trinity Church, Tulse Hill, Brixton. Despite 6am rain and having to waterproof up and ride 8miles from Hackney already, I’ve made it and here are the riders. What energy. I’m in group gold, we’re getting glittered up with a bunch of older cyclists beside us raring to go having arrived from Scotland yesterday afternoon. (apparently there’s also a Spanish team who’ve been on the road for a month) so the 65 miles up and down to Brighton with a headwind and rain forecast for this afternoon should be no problem guys. Great to finally meet the timetocycle people too
Saturday December 5th
December 5th, 2015
21.00h. I should be at Trinity church Brixton meeting 124 cyclists stoking ourselves up to hit the road for Brighton early tomorrow. On November 1st I’d decided I had to join the London to Paris bike ride to contribute to the #COP21 actions. Why? Not sure but it was as clear as hell. Through the research around & making of Animals March, I’d found that time to cycle were organising this expedition in lycra, comfortable or relaxed groups, (no I’ve never ridden any kind of distance before), then I was lucky on Gumtree with an incredible bike and so the desire to go boom became a reality. Sonically, it’d also be an ideal opportunity to try out alternative lightweight sound systems for long distance riding whilst experimenting with different audio materials for accompanying cyclists, landscapes & passers by. However, things haven’t quite worked out as anticipated. My phone was stolen last night, my wallet this morning, then the alternative test speaker was not delivered, so all prep time has been swallowed in resolving the drama but – check the above. Said new bike has minirigs mounted on the seat post, with a 180 degree swivel possible to aim at the following cyclist. Also there’s a super snug fit for sub woofer on the carrier rack, and having just made a park night ride to test, the system sounds great and we’re good to go. Paris here we come!
Sunday November 29th
November 29th, 2015
9am Sunday morning. Charged sonic bikes transformed into action bikes are ready to go but the forecast is heavy rain with 40mph winds. Hackney’s recycling bags for the black box and extra bags for speakers, now hanging down, are brought in to help. Unperturbed we get into masks and set off. Climate march here we come! GO HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED..
Saturday November 28th
November 28th, 2015
Late Saturday. It’s been more work than we anticipated. Hannah and Kaffe go testing the route of sounds we’ve mapped. We need more gibbons at Shoreditch cross, less red fox on Oxford St, more chimp at Oxford Circus, no they’re not scary, they’re brilliant, especially layered with the bees, more wolf past Selfridges and lets add the hyenas in here too. The badger cubs go on bit, the varieties of bats at Old St roundabout are awesome. There’re two zones where a high frequency drone phases in. It’s pretty powerful, great. What is it? and where are the horses down Broadway Market? We return to the studio to find the final masks completed and make the edits. As suspected, the hf noise drones are the Pi2’s audio card not being able to handle the details of sonic variety within the voices of insects. (Voices? ->wings/legs/bodies rubbing…). We decide anyway that this fantastic by product is to be the sound all the bikes will play on arrival at Hyde Park and the start of the march, the wolves and hyenas howling in chorus as we arrive. We’re ready.
NOTES: Wintercroft masks are fab but we’ve not been fast to make them. TIPS: Use spray mount to glue paper stencil to card. Use glue dots to connect the different sections. Other systems messy/not strong enough/slow.
Friday November 27th
November 27th, 2015
Part of the research to make Animals March was to find the best position for speakers prioritising passer-by listening over rider’s. Normal sonic bike riding has the speakers angled at the riders ears creating complete immersion. Action bike requires the sound from the bike to be heard most clearly by the passer-by. So we turn speakers around on the bikes, riding them around the park clattering, growling and howling insects, cheetahs and hyenas. Interestingly, speakers turned upside down and forwards, (see yellow speaker position above) creates best result. More interestingly is that it makes one of the most enjoyable sonic bike ride evenings in a while.
Sunday November 22nd
November 22nd, 2015
Mask making progress is dramatic! How to wear them and ride a sonic bike will be interesting. I of course am optimistic.
Friday November 20th
November 20th, 2015
Bicrophonic artists have gathered to make animal masks. They’re cut outs we download from Steven Wintercrofts fab selection. We’ve chosen a hare, a jaguar, a unicorn, a stag, a moose, a dragon, a fish and a wolf. It’s strangely immersive work. Glue and scissors and precision. Stephen’s fish is immediately brilliant.
Sunday November 8th
November 8th, 2015
The London bicrophonic artists gather to discuss our action for the Peoples Climate March on 29th. We want to contribute by riding the 12 sonic bikes en masse and we discuss the variety of content they could play. Environmental sounds, disasters?, international protest songs, write own songs, slogans, horns, extreme noise, animals voices, statistics, data pounding out in rhythmic reams. We acknowledge that marches are slow and are for walking and pushing the sonic bikes will not be ideal. Also our sound will not be mapped but we’ll play it from mp3 players so we can be live and respond to march events. Good discussion though distills these ideas into something much more focused and quite independent. We’ll make our own action before the march. Spread the news of its happening to central London shoppers. We’ll make a mapped piece that we ride west from the BRI studio, Hackney, through Shoreditch, Old St, along Clerkenwell Rd and Oxford St, all the way to Park Lane and Hyde Park where the march begins. And our sonic content will be animals voices. Howling, tweeting, buzzing, chirruping, honking, squawking, flapping, roaring, clicking, barking, stomping and more. And we’ll make and where animal masks. Sculptural, white, silent.