Music for 1000 Bicycles

(After Maceda) Music for 1000 Bicycles is a performative installation or a mobile sound sculpture. The collaborating artists will produce music and or sound works that will be uploaded on mobile digital music players. These music players and speakers will be fitted on bicycles.  They will also produce performance instructions that the bikers will follow. This is imagine to produce at the most a 1hr performance, ideally on an outdoor location, like a park.


This work is inspired by Jose Maceda’s composition Music for 1000 Automobiles in the Freeway, which he proposed in 1968. His idea was to produce music on cassette and have them mounted on cars that will run along an American freeway. He called it “gigantic structure of sound or a sound-machine”. The proposal can be found at the University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology. As per records, it appears that this proposal was not actualized in his lifetime. 


image courtesy of UPCE



Music for 1000 Bicycles is similar to Maceda’s work in a sense that the music will be delivered using moving vehicle. It is significantly different however, as the conception of this project is triggered by the extended lockdown that was experienced in 2020. Particularly, Manila had the longest lockdown in all Asian countries. When the mobility in the City was loosen, only minimal public transportation was allowed. People resorted to using bicycle until the time of writing this proposal. Although there had been bikers in the City before the pandemic, their numbers recognisably significantly grew. The City administrators now even seriously heeded the clamour for bicycle lanes. This did not only changed the cityscape, it also significantly affected the soundscape of the city. This is a tribute work—not only to Maceda’s genius, but also and most importantly, it is a work celebrating the resiliency of human spirit and its ability to embrace the ever changing world. 


photo courtesy of Issay Rodriguez