British Columbia·Video

Vancouver group repurposes old bikes for Indonesian percussion music ensemble

A Vancouver group is taking old bicycles to a new level.

Watch Gamelan Bike Bike’s musical process in the new CBC Creator Network film

The instruments are created from recycled materials like bicycles from around Vancouver. (Gamelan Bike Bike/Facebook )

A Vancouver group is making new sounds from old bicycles.

Gamelan Bike Bike uses recycled bike parts collected from scrap metal bins around the city to create instruments for the 10-member music ensemble.  The group is featured in a new CBC Creator Network short film.

'Made by scavengers'

"In a way, this project is made by scavengers but with a very high ideal in mind," said Robyn Jacob, multi-instrumentalist and co-founder.

The group gets its musical inspiration from from Bali, Indonesia where Gamelan is a traditional percussion ensemble of Indonesian instruments.

The group practices on the colourful, creative musical instruments every week and performs across the province.

"It plays quite a large role in how I live the music of my life," Jacob said.

Gamelan is a traditional percussion ensemble of Indonesian instruments. (Gamelan Bike Bike/Facebook)

George Rahl, also a co-founder of the group and a multi-instrumentalist as well, said the novelty of the instruments is one of the reasons behind the group's success.

"Creating new instruments that can create a new context for new music — it's quite stimulating," he said.

"There is this sense of trying to make a different space for music to happen and to bring all these materials together."

With files from Sheryl MacKay and North By Northwest