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. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google’s Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

  2. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  3. Equity

    Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

    Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

  4. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  5. A map showing the affordability of housing in the U.S.
    Equity

    Minimum Wage Still Can’t Pay For A Two-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere

    The 30th anniversary edition of the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, “Out of Reach,” shows that housing affordability is getting worse, not better.

×