Sound project pedals through UPD

After its tour in Hamburg, Germany last June and passing the roads of Iloilo in December, Music for 1,000 Bicycles comes full circle as it returns to UP Diliman (UPD) on Feb. 18.

Music for 1,000 Bicycles is an outdoor sound performance project spearheaded by Dayang Magdalena Nirvana Yraola, associate professor of art history at the Department of Theory of the UPD College of Fine Arts.

Yraola holding the Hamburg banner. Photo from the Music for 1,000 Bicycles Facebook page

The Music for 1,000 Bicycles’ ride home in February will be created in partnership with Mona Liza Adviento Maghanoy, an assistant professor of sports science of the UPD College of Human Kinetics (CHK) and assistant director of the CHK Varsity Sports Program.

According to its Facebook page, Music for 1,000 Bicycles has three parts. Part 1 involves sound artists and musicians producing an audio work inspired by outdoor sound experiences. The composition focuses on moving sounds like rain fall, traffic, or the sound of animals or birds.

Part 2 involves bikers in an identified place and date. The bikers are asked to upload the audio works or composed music on mobile digital music players. The music players, along with speakers, are fitted on their bicycles. While playing the audio work, the bikers pedal through a route, following speed and duration based on the choreography of participating artists. These performances or “rides” will happen in different cities in different countries.

These rides will continue until 1,000 bicycles are recorded on video, and produced as one documentary video. This is Part 3 of the project.

The outdoor sound performance project was inspired by Music for 1,000 Automobiles, a work of National Artist for Music Jose Maceda, where a thousand cars open a particular radio channel while roving a freeway.

The rides began in July 2021 in UPD and later moved to other places including Baguio City, Hamburg, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, and San Francisco, California in the United States.

In the article, Sound Art Project Hopes to Elevate Cycling Art Culture in Iloilo City by Joseph B.A. Marzan, published in the Dec. 19, 2022 issue of Daily Guardian, Yraola said her vision of the ride or performance is likened to that of a marching band.

Participant bikers in front of the Oblation at UP Visayas (Iloilo City campus). Photo from the Music for 1,000 Bicycles Facebook page

Yraola said, “In a marching band, you hold instruments, you move from end to end. Here, instead of walking, you’re on a bike, and instead of the instruments, your music comes from an audio file on the player.”

Prior to its return to UPD in February, the Music for 1,000 Bicycles will first ride in Baguio City on Jan. 28, in partnership with Fara Martia M. Nolasco, an assistant professor of arts at the Department of Language, Literature and the Arts of the UP Baguio College of Arts and Communication.