Nutcracker Suite Played on Bicycle Parts

December 8, 2013 by Stephen Auerbach - 3 Comments

If you haven’t seen this brilliant piece of imaginative cycling cinema it’s a must-see.

Here’s Flip Baber’s (the composer, and musician) description of how this great moment in cycle-musical-history came to be: “I was recently approached by award winning advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to do a composition for a bike manufacturer and they needed some Christmas music, but with a twist: They wanted me to create the music from only bike sounds. They didn’t even know if it was possible, so they left the song choice up to me to see what I could come up with. Since Jingle Bells is a little overdone this time of year, I thought Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” would be a great alternative. At first I didn’t think it could be done, but as I recorded sounds from my road bike and mountain bike it started to take shape. Here’s the instrumentation and score:

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Glockenspiel & Clarinet melody = spokes.
Cello & Violin pizzicatos = plucked derailleur cables.
Triangle = disc brake hit.
Percussion = shifting, coasting, finger over turning spokes, chain pulls, braking, clipping into pedals, back-spinning, air out of tires.

We once had an amazing showing of Bicycle Dreams  in Chicago that was followed by a rare performance of the phenomenal music group Schwinntonation. These guys make beautiful music with bicycles and bicycle parts. They have to be heard to be believed!  If you go to this link: 

…you can hear their album. To say it’s mind-blowing is an understatement.  They make Frank Zappa seem like Lawrence Welk. What’s next, Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” on a derailleur? Enjoy!