Reel to Wheel is an interactive
installation that uses old, abandoned bicycles and salvaged bicycle parts
to control reel-to-reel tape machines and play 1/4" audio tape.
The work explores the intersection between found objects and found sound.
It is meant to be a playground environment where people can interact with
common objects in new combinations that create interesting sounds and
Reel to Wheel currently includes two main instruments but new objects
are in the works.
Hank's Wild Ride is made of two bikes facing in opposite directions and
connected by a gear box. The motion of the human driven bike makes
the dummy driven bike pedal, which in turn drives the reel-to-reel machine.
The user controls the speed and timbre of the sounds played by the reel-to-reel
by varying his or her pedaling.
The Looping Pedal, rotates two sections of 1/4” audio tape over
two tape heads. This is a loop in the most literal sense.
The instrument can make a typical “scratching” sound by pushing
the wheel back and forth or it can create a different timbre by spinning
the wheel freely. In addition to the “traditional” scratching
gesture, the left wheel can also be rotated using the attached pedal.
The result is a sound that builds on the sound of turntable scratching
while adding other sonic possibilities.
Sasha Leitman, Steven Backer, Jesse Fox, and Jen Carlile.
Steven Backer, Jen Carlile, Jesse Fox, and Sasha Leitman met while studying
at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.
All four are active music makers and tinkerers working with the intersection
of technology and art. Jesse Fox currently lives in Portland and
the others reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.