Using a variety of electronics hooked up to his body, Brian House turned his daily bike route in New York into music.

The guy who made that musical bicycle really needs to meet Brian House, creator of the musical bike commute.

House has been biking from Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan for six years, a journey he treasures so much that he's arranged it into a song called "Forty Eight to Sixteen." It's not the kind of tune you would want to jam out to during such a 7.5-mile workout, mind you. Logging in at 35 minutes, the anxious-sounding piece features slashes of repetitive string notes and what sounds like Dennis Hopper breathing through a gas mask in the background.

That last auditory feature is House's own inhalations as he huffed and puffed his way to work. The self-described bricoleur, who exhibited this piece at Chelsea's Eyebeam Art + Technology Center while serving as artist-in-residence, collected biometric details on his commute from heart-rate and breathing monitors, as well as a device to pick up the sound of his peddling. He then handed this raw data over to Topu Lyo, who interpreted each of the tree audio streams into one stacked slab of cello music. Finally, he tuned the composition to video recorded during his cross-borough slog.

House hopes to stage a live performance of "Forty Eight" with a musical trio, saying that "I think that would emphasize the physicality of the process." If you listen to the piece in its entirety and are wondering just how to process it, the artist has this recommendation: "go get on your bike."

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Can Toyota Turn Its Utopian Ideal Into a 'Real City'?

    The automaker-turned-mobility-company announced last week it wants to build a living, breathing urban laboratory from the ground up in Japan.

  2. photo: a pair of homes in Pittsburgh
    Equity

    The House Flippers of Pittsburgh Try a New Tactic

    As the city’s real estate market heats up, neighborhood groups say that cash investors use building code violations to encourage homeowners to sell.  

  3. Life

    The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

    An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

  4. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×