2020 – for chamber musicians – 95:00 (5 movements, 3-21 musicians each)
Each movement in Pedal music takes a theme from Handel’s Water Music (1717) as a jumping off point. As Handel’s piece was originally conceived as a work where musicians and audience moved as the piece is performed, so is Pedal Music, except instead of being on water, it will be on land via bicycle power.
Another important difference is that instead of being presented to an exclusive aristocratic class, Pedal Music will be performed in public spaces for people from all walks of life to enjoy. This composition aims to break down the elitist roots of classical music by making it accessible to all. This objective will be symbolically achieved through the make-up of the ensemble and the quotation and variation of Handel’s original thematic musical material.
The idea of musicians moving around on bikes while performing the piece is something intriguing to me. We can propel ourselves forward with the push of a pedal and I believe if we combine pedal power with music we can highlight how we can make change and more livable communities and a healthier planet; change such as turning a cold and stark inner-city streets into a cultural refuge. This piece can help us realize how life can be more enjoyable outside our homes, outside our cars, using our own power to enjoy the fresh air around us. This is where I hope the emotion of the music can help people feel what is possible for the environment and all of us.
– Frank Horvat