Sonic bike

Software and hardware development of the Sonic Bike system for Kaffe Matthews Copyright (C) 2012 Wolfgang Hauptfleisch, Dave Griffiths Later additions made by Tom Keene & Jairo Sanchez A Bricrophonic Research Institute (BRI) Project:

Invented by Kaffe Matthews, the Sonic Bike has evolved over 10 years of international projects, and continues to be researched and developed to expand the compositional potentials and unique listening experiences it creates.

The Sonic Bike is an instrument that plays sound and music that changes depending on where the cyclist goes and how fast they ride. It is simply a bicycle with speakers on the front and our GPS tracking audio system in a box on the back.

Compositions are mapped to locations using this system, made in fragments and linked to different user determined zones across a city or landscape, each zone set to trigger a different sound or instruction as the bike rides in and then departs. Sound works can be mapped anywhere in the world therefore, along a road, across a park, over an entire city, a hillside, enabling multiple routes for a cyclist to take, and endless compositional experiences for the maker.

A number of Sonic Bike variations have been created that build on the original design, adding in interactivity and vibration, and make sonic cycling accessible to riders of all sizes and abilities.

Find further information on building a sonic bike here:

The Hardware

  • Beagle Bone Black.
  • Beaglebone audio cape.
  • G-Star IV USB GPS Dongle.
  • USB hub.