Portland Bike Ensemble Live in Japan. Vinyl. 200 copies.
We played with the idea of calling it the Portland Bike Duo back in 2006, as Kelvin, Shane, Mark, Whitney and J.P. (all quite indispensible members) were unable to make the tour. That left Craig and myself. For filling out the sound we recruited Shayne Bowden, who played with us at the Tetra and Kitakyushu gigs. That left the two of us playing most of the gigs as a duo. With the bikes we were an ensemble. And I felt that we were faithfully carrying the sound. All in all I`d say we stayed true to the Portland Bike Ensemble credos, unspoken yet understood collectively by members, staving off the tempatation of rhythm and basically doing a lot of listening, allowing the music to reveal itself minimally and organically. The bicycle is not at all a gimmick instrument -- anyone who might try to approach it as such would be best to stay away. Each bicycle has its own resonances, its own tricks and switchbacks, just like any instrument. There is a vocabulary that has to be developed, deranged, detuned, magnified. It should be noted that following one of these performances, Paul Blair, mighty Scotsman, did innovate the sound by using his gluteus muscles upon the tire tread. Woe is me. What is the sound of one hand reaching for the pedal and the other hand listening to the sound of the hand reaching for the pedal?
EQUIPMENT USED: Two random bicycles donated by local folk, contact microphones, four channel mixer.
LABEL: Olde English Spelling Bee. PS. I have remained in Japan so I don`t know how things are developing back home, but I enjoyed this recent performance.