Two more performances this coming week:
First on Thursday 5th December I’m taking part in Confluence project Sheffield, including a live tai chi/dance/paint + live code collaboration with Ayşegül Thornett. Confluence is an event where visual artists and musicians meet and collaborate through discussion and performance.
The next day on Thursday 6th December I’ll be performing at Open platform, Sheffield in which I’ll be trying to do digital performance without electricity, by transcribing Susanne Palzer’s live art actions by knitting (and pearling) her binary ON and OFF actions. Open platform explores Technology without Technology through live performance in small spaces via open calls.
An algorave, two slub performances, a workshop, a lecture-performance, a live coding FP talk, two durational solo live coding performances (one two hour, one four hour), percussive free improv and these two makes eleven events in one month, as well as teaching and sorting out funding proposals for more things… I’m knackered but happy, and there’s more to come..
Leafcutter John invited me to join him for a Planet Mu set back in 2003, providing some generative beats for his wild noises. Great memories, and here’s a nice review of the evening by Dan Gusset, reproduced here as the original has gone offline:
Gig Review: Planet Mu room @ Wheels Instead of Hooves Xmas Wingdings, Electrowerkz, London, 19.12.03
On the couple of odd occasions I stuck my head into the Rephlex or Skam rooms at this gig there didn’t seem to be much going on, although that is probably more a case of unfortunate timing than rather than a reflection on the quality of the music. AFX apparently didn’t show for his set in the Rephlex room and a few upset fans spent the evening flapping from room to room trying to find him. In the Mu room a brief DJ set from Mike P had people dancing from the off, which just went to show how eager the crowd was. First up of the live acts was Leafcutter John (and his electric breasts). John’s music is, by its nature, not that easy to dance to. The crowd stopped and gawped when he started making the atmospheric noises that underpin his material. The humor value of watching him triggering various clicks and clanks by moving magnets over his false pointy breasts (his real ones are very round) seemed to keep peoples attention. The first half hour of the set took us through about half of the Housebound Spirit material, all of it sounding very new, very fresh and very live. Some of the bass played was phenomenal. I could literally feel it moving my hair and flapping my trousers. He was then joined on stage be his friend Alex who took control of the third computer (John was already using two laptops) to create some beats. This second half of the set was quite unexpected and sounded like all of his most dance orientated material (like the untitled track 9 from Microcontact or Woktech or Woods and Rivers from the Concourse ep) given a special club friendly pounding backing. This worked brilliantly and got the crowd dancing again like they were before, even if it wasn’t the complex beat programming. This new side to the Leafcutter John (and Hisfriend Alex) live experience really puts the whole thing in a totally new light and makes John’s music far more suitable from this sort of environment. For me, this was the highlight of the evening.
Next up was Chevron, who played a fantastic set of classic rave like material with pounding gabba drums, acid synth sounds, spooky samples and occasional ray-gun like sound effects provided by the modified toy known as “Ragga Weapon 2″.
Mike P (µ-ziq)’s live set was another bashing of Bilious Paths material interspersed with a couple of the older classics. All of the older material reworked a little so they sat perfectly in the set with the latest material. A couple of tracks had been added to the set since the gig reviewed back in October, otherwise the set was quite similar.
Remarc played a DJ set of old school jungle, heavily laden in his own material. Opening by scratching the siren sound from Not 4 U then launching into what is undoubtedly his best track is a great way to get things started, but made it difficult to maintain that level.
The final live set came from the Santa suited Shitmat, playing a set that was much heavier on the gabba and lighter on the mash-up and jungle elements than the one reviewed last month. The Rolf Harris mash-up was of course still present, but it was the opening Ian Dury reworking “Hit me with your gabba kick” that provided the comedy highlight of the set. This performance sorted the men from the boys and by the end of the hour the crowd was reduced considerably, although this was true of the other rooms too so many it was more to do with the time than the music. It did agitate the security guard stood at the side of the stage. He had found a drum stick and had been taping along with most of the acts all evening. When Shitmat came on and his mood changed considerably, he was stabbing at things violently and heckling.
Mike P provided another DJ set, comprising mostly jungle material, that was every bit as good as Remarc’s and Chevron finished of the night with a laptop DJ set of rave classics like Charlie Says and sped up, raved up, chart tunes like Mel and Kim’s Respectable sounding like Chipmunks. Fantastic night. Can’t wait for next year’s.
Originally posted on GussetBlog by Dan, 22.12.03.
I’ve done a lot of live coding performances lately, so not much time for updating this..
Here’s a room recording of a slub performance at EAVI II with Dave.
Plus here’s a short clip from a solo performance at the first Sheffield algorave:
Rather than continue my periodic ‘things coming up’ posts I’ve made an events page that I’ll keep up to date. I’ll eventually turn it into a proper calendar feed.
I’ve continued with the Tidal cycles project, pushing forward with at least one cycle per weekday, apart from one day when I made a longer recording (to appear on chordpunch soon). All the audio is downloadable and creative commons licensed (CC-BY), check the descriptions for the tweet-sized tidal code for each cycle, and follow on twitter or soundcloud for updates.
I should note that this is of course inspired by the long-lived sctweets tradition in the supercollider community.
I did a remote performance streamed to Barcelona last week as part of a “Perspectives on multichannel live coding” concert, which involved me sitting on my studio floor in Sheffield, live coding broken techno for 16 speakers. The music was beamed over to an audience of 30-40 people in Universitat Pompeu Fabra, who were surrounded by 16 speakers, while I created the music locally, monitoring in quadrophonic surround sound (sadly I didn’t have 16 speakers to hand). I really enjoyed the challenge of making a coherent multi-channel performance, and got some positive feedback on the music, but thought I’d share the more technical side..
The organiser/curator Gerard Roma and I discussed the possibility of streaming audio, compressed with ogg vorbis and streamed over icecast. Encoding/decoding and streaming 16 channels of audio is a bit problematic though, we probably had the bandwidth but the libraries just aren’t there with 16 channel support. It’s straightforward to stream 4 channels, or 5.1, but for some reason every channel has to be labelled with a location, and I couldn’t get sixteen channels working with gstreamer.
In any case streaming synth control messages rather than audio output is a better approach really, and that’s what we went with. I just ran my synthesiser Dirt in both places, and sent trigger messages over Open Sound Control to both. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite that simple due to the various institutional firewalls between us, so I sent the OSC over ZeroMQ. This involved running a simple daemon on my (unfirewalled) server, which received OSC over plain UDP, which it forwarded to any ZeroMQ subscribers. It was then easy to add some code to Dirt which subscribed to the ZeroMQ server, and piped OSC messages into liblo for processing. Using ZeroMQ as part of this made for really easy to write, fault-tolerant code.
A slightly amusing side effect is that anyone running a recent git checkout of Dirt during my various tests and performance would have received my OSC messages and heard me mess around and play.. Something that could be made more of in the future…
I’d love to do more multichannel performances, streamed or in person, let me know if you’d like me to propose something for your system!
A wonderful time at Dagstuhl last week. Aspects of the seminar has already been covered very nicely in blogs by Mark Guzdial, and Dave Griffiths. I’ve tended to blog about live coding over on the TOPLAP blog, but over the coming days I’ll be unravelling my thoughts about live coding here. To start with though, here’s a couple of thoughts about the Dagstuhl format.
Dagstuhl seminars fit well with live coders, because organisers are encouraged to organise on-the-fly, reacting to themes as they arise and develop through the workshop. A solid week of discussion passed very quickly, but despite the relaxing surroundings was remarkably hard work. This was in part because I was suppressing a cold throughout, to varying levels of success, but mostly because it was all so interesting, with discussions starting over breakfast and flowing through the day and into the evening.
The whole thing re-invigorated a whole host of my interests in live coding, and brought together many perspectives into a field that we could share in. As Mark and Dave have noted, this was a rather cross-disciplinary group of cross-disciplinary people, and although the odd technical discussion probably did exclude some participants, we managed to drift between discussions about education, engineering, philosophy, politics and music without hitting too many obstacles. The involvement of cross-disciplinary people – artist-programmers, engineer-ethnographers, textile-mathematicians, computer science-philosophers, and so on, meant misunderstandings were quickly identified and bridged.
I’ve started a twitter feed called @tidalcycles, with minimal tidal programs and their output. I’ll try to add one a day, but lets see how things go. Here’s the first couple:
brak $ let x = "bd [sn [[sn bd] sn]]*1/3" in interlace (sound $ slow 3 $ x) (sound $ every 3 (append "[bd]*6") x)
weave 4 (speed $ (1+) sinewave1) [density 4 $ every 5 ((0.25 <~) . rev) $ striate 16 $ sound"[bd sn/2]/2", sound "bd [~ hc]*3"]
Texture v.2 is getting interesting now, reminds me of fabric travelling around a loom..
Everything apart from the DSP is implemented in Haskell. The functional approach has worked out particularly well for this visualisation — because musical patterns are represented as functions from time to events (using my Tidal EDSL), it’s trivial to get at future events across the graph of combinators. Still much more to do though.