Things coming up..
- Gravitational Waves in Sheffield, a new series of events planned with UoSheffield Sound Studios. The first one will be on this Friday 4th March, curated by Vanessa Massera and myself. It’ll be in celebration of the upcoming International Womens’ day.
- On the 10th March I’ll start my ODI sound art residency.. Looking forward to getting into that!
- Then going to FoAM Kernow in Penryn for the Tanglebots workshop on Sunday 20th March, a family workshop making robots to make tangles.
- While in Cornwall I’ll be performing with Dave as Slub on Friday 25th March, streaming live to the SuperCollider 20 year birthday party in New York City.
- Then back to Sheffield for EulerRoom on 9th April, another new series of events I’m doing, with focus on live stream. The first one will be multichannel, featuring the excellent Joanne Armitage and Calum Gunn, plus myself as resident live coder. It’ll be multichannel as well, with four stacks of dangernoise PA, bang.
- Further ahead I’ll be giving a talk at the excellently named AHEM conference on unravelling live coding on the 15th April, and a couple of weeks later joining an Algorave tour around Leeds, Newcastle and London..
I asked around the social media, “What are the good open access journals in digital arts, computer music etc?” Motivated by deciding that once I get some commitments out of the way, I’m not going to write for closed access publication any more, especially not with public funds. The results so far, in no particular order:
- Computational Culture: A Journal of Software Studies
- Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
- eContact! Online Journal for Electroacoustic Practices
http://econtact.ca/ (not peer reviewed)
- Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture
- Journal of Sonic Studies
http://www.fupress.net/index.php/mt (not peer reviewed)
- Journal for Research Cultures
- Emperical Musicology Review
- Music Theory Online
- Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts
- Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics
- Journal of Artistic Research
I had an enjoyable, far-reaching chat with Emily Bick and the results are in the March issue of The Wire magazine. Emily has managed to fit in quite a lot about Algorave, Slub, Canute, Tidal, Weaving Codes and Susanne Palzer. The last time live coding was featured was March 2008, in a review of the first (and so far, last) TOPLAP CD including a track from Slub:
A prehistory of Live Coding TOPLAP CD
Four years ago, in a smoky bar in Hamburg, Toplap was formed — an organisation dedicated to promoting live algorithm programming. So far, so niche. Defying expectation however, it has since exploded into a fully functioning electronic music scene, with hundreds of practitioners improvising with live coding languages such as SuperCollider and ChucK. That is, writing, rewriting and modifying music software on the fly during performance (often with the rapidly changing code projected on a screen).
The cream of this scene’s live recorded output has now been collated on Toplap’s inaugural release. Despite superficially geeky origins — many performers are coders first, musicians second — the music here is stacked with depth, guts and soul. Opener “Water Surface” by Ron Kuivila is a featherlight study, shimmering with static broken by bursts of bee-like feedback. In contrast, The Hub’s “Hub x 6” is an
analogue-style fun fest of farty trumpet bursts and spaceship noise. RedFrik’s ticklish “Aug 19” is Luke Vibert-style acid, but with enough rhythmic aberrations to take it beyond twee. “20060401folded” by scene forerunners Slub is a compelling, edgy slice of rollercoaster Techno. In truth, it’s hard to believe much of the music here is essentially freewheeling software reined in by finger tapping humans. Live coding has so far flourished, but under a bushel. Perhaps it’s time the rest of us got a look in. Susanna Glaser
I think it’s a nice bushel, I hope we can stay there a bit longer.
Writing some code about arpeggio and reverb
I’ve always been impressed and a bit jealous of SuperCollider’s community, especially since taking the above photo after sneaking into the supercollider symposium in 2012. Such a strange mix of musicians, engineers, philosophers, artists and otherwise confused. It’s great then that the upcoming 0.7-dev release of Tidal has tight integration with supercollider, via SuperDirt, ultimately meaning an easier installation for everyone, more effects, and a healthy mix of sample-based and synthesis-based noises. Big thanks to Julian Rohrhuber for making superdirt, this is going to be fun..
Here’s a video from sonic pattern last year, working with Alex Keegan on a two-date project playing with beat perception in dance music that I wrote about here. This collaboration was brought together by Nick Hughes, they are both part of the ace agrobeat band Blood Sport. This was a really nice experiment, hoping to work with them more this year.
I’ve been chosen to be the first sound artist in residence at the Open Data Institute headquarters in London, part of both their Data as Culture programme and Sound and Music‘s Embedded composer development programme. This is a really exciting opportunity, and I was astonished to be picked. My application didn’t really say what I’d do on the residency; part of the reason why I was so astonished, but also partly why I’m so happy to be doing it.. I really need some time to reflect and develop something new without too much planning. The residency will be spread over nine months, so it’ll be good for that.
I did develop some vague ideas in my application, though. After reading Tim Ingold and Peter Gärdenfors, I want to use the time to explore open data not as interconnected networks, but through the process of making music interfaces, think of the sharing of data as interwoven threads. I also got interested in the notion of “Data Anthropologies” that the Data as Culture theme has been exploring, wondering whether exploratory computer programming could be described as “Data Ethnography”, as a way (again thinking of Ingold) of exploring the seams between imagination and reality, through the act of writing code. This train of thought made me think about the critical engineering manifesto.. I think this will continue from various collaborations (weaving codes, sonic pattern) around pattern, the ODI context helping me work through for example the notion of pattern that runs through machine learning, and the growing tradition of using textile patterns as data sources for sound.
Big thanks to ODI and SaM!
I’m involved in this Hack the City event in Sheffield on 15th/16th January 2016, looking at marine culture, biodiversity, environment and waterways data. It should be really good + will also feature a talk from Kaffe Matthews, plus evening performances at Access Space on the Saturday evening.. I’m bringing some more digital arts types into the hackathon again (the last time we did this was a lot of fun) as part of “inhabiting the hack”, come and join in!
I’ll note that the theme of “marine and waterways” has become particularly topical in the North of England of late..
Happy new year!
2015 has been fun, and for the second year running, busy to the point of being impossible to summarise. So instead I’ll summarise what I’m going to be up to in 2016.
Make a new album via a crowdfund campaign with support from pledgemusic and sound and music as well as Computer Club. The plan is to develop Tidal through the process, including making it more accessible, and establish eulerroom as a live streaming project.
Join a new research project, big news to come on that one.
Develop a new strand of practice during a residency at the Open Data Institute, again with support from Sound and Music.
Create a Festival of Making in Performance towards the end of the year.
Finish up some projects, including the Oxford Handbook on Algorithmic Music, and the Weaving Codes, Inhabiting the Hack and Live Coding Research Network.
Plus, as ever, developing live coding performance, solo, through collaboration and by organising events.
I’ll be doing a lot of this activity as part of FoAM Kernow, and although it seems I have a lot to do, hope it’s going to be a time of reflection and sustainable new directions..
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