- Video: The live coding orchestra, practicing
- Live Coding, Improving and composing in realtime with a computer
Even though Live Coding is generally associated with the practice of writing computer code to generate music in front of an audience, I use Live Coding to bring together composition and improvisation. Since I learnt SuperCollider in 1999, I have been looking for convenient ways to test and edit code in real-time. Around 2002, I managed to actually change parts of the code while it was running; it became clear that this was very useful for composing and improvising in real time. I was at the time very interested in serialism and I was writing algorithms for computer-aided composition. It was only with what I called then ‘live coding’, that I could get real-time feedback while editing code to make sure these generative systems were not getting out of hand.
The Live Coding Orchestra
I have written a library of computer code designed for aided composition. The library of computer code permits to calculate and expand various aspects of my musical ideas (variations, harmony, melody, rhythm and orchestration/arrangement). For the sounds, I use a patch of orchestral samples (The Live Coding Orchestra) triggered by the sequencer.
A simplified version my Live Coding system.
The ‘code’ part of each function can be replaced by anything, as long as the new code has an input and output that continues functioning with the rest of the system.
The code can be expanded; for instance the melody section could analyse the contour and variations from previous melodies, before deciding on a new melody. Instruments can be divided into leaders, followers or groups. Durations can be determined by any process, for instance a Markov type of generation based on previous statistics. Melody and durations can suddenly become tied to each other instead of remaining independent….anything is still possible at any point in time!
(1) Live Coding: complete creation of Music computer code and insertion of that code in real-time within the performance. Live Coding is the Art of writing Music Computer code in real-time, as the Music is being performed. Live Coding is a bridge between: Improvisation, Generative/Algorithmic/Interactive Music and Composition. To find out more about Live Coding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_coding http://toplap.org/index.php/Main_Page