Karen Lauke

Sound design and original composition

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Take the Wind

  • Radio/Commercial

I can see the line in front of me and, suddenly, that familiar sensation is reinstated in my heart. I want to win. I have to win.

Behind the cyclist that holds the trophy are other cyclists – other professionals – other men who also began as boys with dreams of glory. But at some point in their professional career, they made choices – of necessity or by chance – which meant that they would never be winners. They are the domestiques – the men who ride in the wind for their winner, saving him up to 40% of his energy across a race like the Tour de France.

Take the Wind positions the listener in the hearts and minds of these men in the last few kilometres of a stage of the Tour. The composition features recordings made all around Yorkshire, alongside a palette of abstract sounds produced by recording, striking and bowing parts of a bicycle. Moving and speaking in strategic manoeuvres, and flying by the Yorkshire scenery, the domestiques find the space to tell their stories in the heat of the race: buzzing thoughts beside aching muscles, with barely half a pedal revolution in between.

This piece was commissioned as part of the Cycle of Sound community radio sound-art project linked to the Tour de France's Grand Départ in Yorkshire. Text by Charley Miles, sound design by Karen Lauke.

Karen was interviewed about the project on Keith Sparrow's Electric Radio Show on Source FM.

Tour De France Grand Departure, Yorkshire (2014)
Collaboration with Charley Miles in association with Heads Together Productions

Writer: Charley Miles
Sound Design: Karen Lauke
Photography: Patrick H. Lauke