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Abandoned bicycles got a new lease of life when they became part of Huddersfield’s first bicycle orchestra.

Musicians and volunteers transformed bike wheels, frames and spokes into cutting edge singing wheels, harps and thumb pianos, as Tour de France fever took over the region.

And shoppers in the town centre were the first to experience the sounds of the Tour de Force Orchestra at a lively 20-minute performance on Saturday afternoon in Nelson Mandela Corner in the town centre.

There, ethereal sounds of the singing wheels merged with marimba like-sounds of the thumb pianos and rhythmic beats of the harps, which were drummed on using bicycle spokes.

The event was organised by members of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to celebrate the imminent arrival of the Grand Depart-and to show that no bike involved in the race need be consigned to the scrap heap in the future.

 

The festival is renowned across the world for its experimental music.

Two members of Manchester’s Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra led the sessions and performance, which blended experimental music with performance art.

HCMF learning and participation officer, Sarah McWatt, collected dozens of unwanted bikes from residents in Huddersfield over the last few months before joining participants to create their instruments in a couple of hours and rehearse their piece.

She said: “I thought the day was fantastic and was really pleased with the result.

“We definitely provided some food for thought about alternative uses for broken bikes.

“I’d like to thank the Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra for helping us to make this happen.”

The Tour de France hits Huddersfield on Sunday, July 6. Click here for more news and information.

The Contemporary Music Festival will be here in November.

Click here to take you back to more Huddersfield news.

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