Augmented cyborg performance by Onxy Ashanti, built with free tools and with freely-shared hardware, in the hopes of accelerating the rest of the musical human race. Photo courtesy the artist.

Sharing Music’s Source Code: Event Pairs Performances with Code, Patches, Schematics

At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, high in the rafters, there’s a set of unusually-cheap seats called the Score Desk section. There, in addition to the seating, panels of wood are oversized enough to accommodate full-orchestral scores. While leaning over the railing to see the performance (the section is not for those with fear of heights), studying composers, conductors, and musicians can pour over the details of Debussy’s orchestrations or Verdi’s prosody. Now, the line between tool, instrument, and composition is blurred, whether we’re talking dance music or experimental sounds. So, in a new event we’re kicking off in …

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Processing, Live: Popular Visual Code Tool, Meet Live-Coding and Clojure, Lisp

For some of us, coding is a slow, methodical process, and there’s even some appeal to the rhythm of it – do a series of things, try it, stop, go back to code… But if you’ve ever dreamt of coding and seeing immediate results — whether just to speed your coding solo, or even to code in live performance — you’ll like this news. live-processing clones the capabilities of Processing, the elegant, open source visual/multimedia coding environment, but adds live-coding capabilities. Aside from the live-coding aspect, it’s generally more compact and more dynamic. The secret is Clojure, a dynamic programming …

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Thought and Performance, Live Coding Music, Explained to Anyone – Really

Algorithms are Thoughts, Chainsaws are Tools from Stephen Ramsay on Vimeo. In an extended video that begins with Radio City’s Rockettes and kettle drum players, Stephen Ramsay explains a litany of technology’s most elusive topics, in terms anyone could understand — no, really. I dare you to ask anyone to watch a few clips of this video, regardless of whether they’re regular readers of this site. Secrets such as why the programming language Lisp inspires religious devotion, or how someone in their right mind would ever consider programming onstage as a form of musical performance, represent the sort of geekery …

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Ethereal Dialpad Touch App, Development Experience on Android and Beyond

Google’s Android has been a relatively slow starter for mobile music software, but a gem like Adam Smith’s free Ethereal Dialpad proves it’s a viable option, and the app is an inspiring musical toy, to boot. Perhaps more important than that, behind the scenes, Adam is employing a really beautifully audio engine of his own design with an elegant approach to coding sound. Ethereal Dialpad features a set of basic modules for using touch to produce synthesized sound with real-time effects. The concept isn’t new – Adam says he was inspired by the pitch mapping on KORG’s Kaossilator – but …

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A Mutating Drum Step Sequencer, New MIDI Library for Processing

The creator of the wonderful glitchDS, repeaterDS, and cellDS Nintendo homebrew music apps has turned his sights to the free and open coding-for-artists desktop tool Processing. The result: a drum machine that mutates and morphs in wonderful ways via a command-line interface. (I almost put the command line bit in the headline, but while I actually adore command lines, I think the more interesting part of it is the way it mutates its patterns in lovely ways. No boring endless step sequence repeat here.) The tool is called Quotile, and since it is built in Processing and the code is …

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