Category Archives: events

Death of algorave

xname

Here’s a room recording of xname and I playing a post-algorave set at Audacious Space in Sheffield. We start making sound from about 4 minutes in.

Xname performed using handmade circuits controlled with strobes and other lights. I used my livecoding DSL Tidal, which also sent flashing patterns to a monitor flat on the table, so xname’s system could be in sync with mine. She also directly beatmatched strobe frequencies, it turns out she has a secret DJ past.

I was pretty much hypnotised by xname’s strobes while live coding and didn’t really know how it went at the time, but am really happy with this recording. You’ll have to imagine the strobes.

Residency in Barcelona

I’m very happy to have a month’s residency in Barcelona coming up, starting 22nd July 2013. I’ll be running workshops (probably at the beginning, while locals are still in town) and working on some new things. It’s produced by L’ull Cec for Hangar, in the context of the Addicted2Random project, which is funded by the European culture programme. It’ll be really great to get some real focus on things I’m desperate to get done.

Things coming up

I’m having a bit of a breather at the moment, but here’s some of the things I am up to over the Summer:

16th May 2013

Another Algorave on the MS Stubnitz. The last one was masses of fun, and really looking forward to seeing what the next one turns up..

May 27-30 2013

I won’t actually be there, but EunJoo Shin will present our collaboration microphone at NIME 2013, as a paper and installation.

15th June 2013

A performance collaboration with xname at the Audacious Space in Sheffield. Difficult to say much about this, but it’s going to be noisy..

27-28th June 2013

A paper on the Textural X (dodgy preprint here), and a performance at xCoAx2013: Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X in Bergamo.

11th July 2013

Another outing to London for the Thursday Club, for a presentation and performance with Kate Sicchio of our piece in development “Sound Choreography <> Body Code”. Here’s some footage from our first performance at Audio:Visual:Motion.

19th-21st July 2013

Performance and workshops at the awesome Deer Shed Festival in North Yorks with Dave.

15th August 2013

A pre-warning of a gig at Cafe OTO, the return of lurk, featuring Leafcutter John, Alexandra Cardenas, Roger Dean and a new collaboration between Paul Hession and myself. Especially looking forward to this after recently realising I’ve actually seen Paul play before, several years ago with Tom Jenkinson and Matthew Yee-King:

15-20th September 2013

Co-organising the Schloss-Dagstuhl seminar Collaboration and Learning through Live Coding. Really excited about this, and we plan to do some other things around Europe before and/or after..

New projects and events

Taking stock of the new and fast-developing projects I’m involved with.

Sound Choreography <> Body Code

A performance which creates a feedback loop through code, music, choreography, dance and
back through code, in collaboration with Kate Sicchio. First performance is this Friday at Audio:Visual:Motion in Manchester. The sourcecode for the sound choreographer component is already available, which choreographs using a shifting, sound-reactive diagram. I’m working on my visual programming language Texture as part of this too, which Kate will be disrupting via computer vision..

Algorave

Collaborating with other live coders and other musicians/video artists using algorithms, creating events which shift focus back on the audience having a seriously good time. A work in progress, but upcoming events are already planned in Brighton, London (onboard the MS Stubnitz!), Karlsruhe and Sydney. More info

Declaration Kriole

Working with world music band Rafiki Jazz, making a new Kriole based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I’ll be working with a puppeteer, giving a puppet a live coded voice which sings in this new language. The puppet will hopefully become a new member of the band, created through interaction within the band. First recording session soon, with live performances to follow fairly soon after. One of the more ambitious projects I’ve been involved with!

Microphone II

Working with EunJoo Shin on a new version of the Microphone. Our previous version got accepted to a couple of big international festivals, but they turned out to be too big to ship! So the next iteration will have a new body, and more of a visual focus.

Slubworld

Slub world is a on-line commission from the Arnolfini: “You are invited to join a new, on-line, sonic world co-inhabited by beatboxing robots. Participants will be able to make music together by reprogramming their environment in a specially invented language, based on state-of-the-art intarsia, campanology and canntaireachd technology. The result will be a cross between a sound poetry slam, yarn bombing, and a live coded algorave, experienced entirely through text and sound.” All for launch in May.. Another ambitious project then.

Dagstuhl seminar: Collaboration and Learning through Live Coding

Co-organising a Dagstuhl seminar bringing together leading thinkers in programming experience design, computing education and live coding.

Plus more in the pipeline, including neuroimaging and programming, a sound visualisation project at Sage Gateshead and hopefully a return of the live interfaces conference and live notation project.

Women in computer music

(An earlier version of this post was directed at some other events in addition to mine, but these references turned out to be factually incorrect and more upsetting for the people involved than I could have imagined, partly because they have been working tirelessly and successfully to address the below concerns. Sincere apologies.)

Here’s an interesting looking event: Algorave.

This event has some things in common with many events in UK electronic music; it has fine organisers and performers who are among my friends, it involves performance of computer music, and has a long list of performers, nonefew of whom are women. I feel able to criticise this latter aspect because I am one of the organisers, I am male and so cannot be accused of sour grapes for not being invited, and because I think it’s in everyone’s interests for this situation to be put in the spotlight — we should be open to ridicule.

I went to a live coding event in Mexico City recently, they’ve built a truly vibrant live coding scene over the past two years, and gender balance seems to be a non-issue, in terms of performers, audience and atmosphere. It may have been the mezcal, but compared to the often boarish atmosphere around UK computer music events, it felt refreshingly healthy.

What can be done about it? In software engineering, if you release an all-male invited conference line-up, you will probably be quickly ridiculed and maybe shut down. While this is disasterous for the people involved, to me it signals a healthy improvement. This is not really about positive discrimination, but more about not having the same old safe line-ups built from the regular circuit of white middle class men, and doing some outreach. Note that this is a recent problem, the UK electronic music scene was in large part founded by women, who through recent efforts are only now being recognised.

I really want to organise events showcasing people writing software to make music for crowds to dance to, but I can’t find female producers in the UK or nearby who are doing this kind of thing (please let me know of any you know!). I don’t know why this is – maybe because of a general higher education music technology focus on electroacoustic music? There are fine people such as Holly Herndon further afield, but I don’t think I can afford to bring her over. There are plenty of female computer musicians, but for some reason I don’t know any making repetitive dance music. This seems a peculiar problem to the narrow focus of algorave — I was recently involved in a fairly large performance technology conference which did seem reasonably balanced across organisers, presenters, performers and audience.

For my next step, I’m looking for funding to work with experts on making generative/live coded electronic dance music more accessible to female musicians (any help with that also appreciated!). The algoraves could also have an ambient/illbient stage, which would be massively easier to programme, but I’m not sure if we’ve got the audience for two stages at this point. I’d also like to lend support for guidelines to electronic/computer music organisers to follow to improve this situation, Sarah Angliss raised this as a possible move forward. Lets see how that goes, but in the meantime feel free to ridicule any male-only line-ups I’m involved with, for the retrogressive sausage parties they are. I think that ultimately, the pressure for reform is positive.

Happy new year + upcoming

Looking forward to 2013, some things I’m up to so far:

+ more on the cards..

Busy week

That was fun..

Slub at the Mozilla party

First, full slub (Dave, Ade and I) at the Mozilla party. The most interested crowd we’ve had, it was hard to get any live coding done between all the questions!  Dave collected some photos from the many that appeared online..

Then to Mexico City for the week-long /* vivo */ live coding festival.  They have a really great scene there, so many great accomplished performances, philosophical talks and fun workshops.  They also have great food and mezcal. A festival report will hopefully appear on the TOPLAP website soon but here is some video from the 2/3 slub performance (Dave and I) there (check out the 3D and HD options..):

Hester Reeve and I performing at the AHRC moot

Then back to London for the AHRC Digital Transformations Moot, where Hester Reeve and I made an experimental, and (fairly) durational live code/art performance work, where I made marks by live coding, and Hester made marks on a blackboard-painted pole.

Next is a panel session at PPIG, a solo performance at iFIMPAC in December (as well as a co-written paper on live coding in education), and more to follow in the new year..

Upcoming events in November

Slub – never been great at press shots

I’m hoping to keep October clear for getting things done, but November is looking fun:

  • 10th November, full Slub performance at the Mozilla party in at the National Film Museum, London.
  • 12-17th November, off to the /* vivo */ International Live Coding Symposium in Mexico City.  I’ll be giving a talk called “Is live coding really live?” (spoiler: yes), running a workshop with Dave called “Time as functions in space”, and doing a two-thirds Slub performance with him too.
  • 19th November, I need to confirm this 100%, but very likely I will be performing again in London, some exciting new work with Hester Reeve at a major national event.
  • 21-23rd November, back in London again for PPIG, it looks likely that there will be a live coding workshop, a performance or two and panel session during the conference.

 

Upcoming events in September

7/8th September 2012, Leeds – Live Interfaces

As my first act as research fellow at ICSRiM, I’m chairing this conference on live interaction in performance technology, two days of papers and performances, including a (free) club night.  The quality of submissions has been fantastic, and we have people coming from 11 different countries outside the UK, can’t wait!

10th September, Slovenia – ICMC 2012

Then I’m off to give a paper on Live notation at the International Computer Music Conference with Hester Reeve.   Looking forward to hanging out in Ljubljana, hope to spend some time in the kiberpapa while I’m there (Sunday-Thursday).

16th September, Germany – Documenta festival

This isn’t 100% confirmed, but the book Speaking Code will be launched at Documenta festival, and while I can’t be there, I will still be live coding there.  More on this once it’s done..

17th September, Goldsmiths – Graduation

Although I was done with this back in November 2011, this is the final step where I get to wear the stupid clothes.  Hoo.

25th September, Leeds – Psychogeography Pecha Kucha

I’ll be trying to argue for computer programming being a form of psychogeography in 20 slides over 6.66 minutes. Drop me a line if you’re interested and I’ll pass on the room info once I know..  The event is organised by Tina Richardson.

29th September, Sheffield – Do It Thissen

Happy to be performing in the exhibition about post-punk Sheffield, I’ll be somehow re-interpreting a wall of 7″ record sleeve cover art.  Neil Webb and Ron Wright will be playing too, and Sensoria will be launching their musical map. Register here for a free beer!

Upcoming events and things

Fresh back from holiday, with a lot of things coming up:

By the way, the paper/performance proposal deadline for the Live Interfaces conference is the end of this Sunday 17th June!