in June 2012 my trio of experimental music Fannullare has been selected to play at the prestigious Kernel Festival in Desio (Milan).
Among the many artists present one project in particular has struck, it is the sound bicycles duo from Amsterdam Good Cop / Naughty Cop.
Yes, you read that right, the guys plays the bikes!
A bicycle is placed at the center of the stage, upside down, so that the wheels can rotate freely. Two guitars, are connected to a laptop, and their sound is affected by the rotation of the wheels, I try to explain how. On each of the wheels four magnets are placed, orthogonal to one another, attached to the spokes with adhesive tape. A further magnet is placed on the two forks, front and rear. Turning the wheel the magnets placed on the spokes meets the one on the fork, closing a circuit, with a frequency related to the rotation speed of the wheel. The closing of the circuit sends a signal to an Arduino, which in turn sends a command to the laptop. The command in question is of two types: if at that time the guitar connected to the wheel in question is emitting sound this sound is sampled, in the interval of time that elapses between a magnet and the other (the faster the rotation, the shorter the sample), else, if the guitar is not outputting any sound, the last sampled sound is repeated endlessly, following the speed of rotation, clear right? If not, check this video.
We arrived in Amsterdam the 30th of march 2013, for eight gigs between Amsterdam, Utrecht and Den Hag and it's here that i get to know the legendary Kwikfiets.
This shop was the place where Good Cop / Naughty Cop project was born, as well as many other amazing projects like Volleband (i will dedicate a future post to this) and is former owner Willem Scholte, is a rough and ready guy with clear ideas about the world and the way to experience human relationship. He saw something good in me and offered me the opportunity to live in the shop without any condition and time limit, else then the one I chose: to buy one of his astonishing vintage custom bicycles.
The answer was: NO. I realized that my youth dream of endless travels is what i really want, and that I was encaging myself in rules made by society, ignoring my real hunger.
This was the moment where i started conceiving this project.
In the meanwhile me and Willem gave life to another crazy idea. The principle was, why don't work together in this amazing place we got, having no boss, and doing our own?
Then, i'm a true beginner in bicycle mechanics but I can cook great sicilian food, and I've plenty of musician friends.
So that's how we gave birth to Ristorante l'Ultimo Bastardo.
The experience was great, we get to know a lot of nice people, and we had a lot of fun making our living.
Unfortunately, beauty often has a short life, and nothing of this exists anymore.
Yes, unbridled dutch capitalism defeated us and we where evicted from the Kwikfiets the 1st of October 2013. The place was rented out to somebody that could pay the double of the rent we use to pay.
This looks like a sad ending but is not: now me and Willem are both in to our real desire, adventure.
Willem is exploring Netherlands with is canoe, and is planning to build a bigger one with a sail and reach mediterranean see trough France next summer. I'm back in Bologna for now, reaching Elena again, she got her graduation in the meanwhile and now we're both free and unemployed. Ready to ride east, maybe forever.