Lockdowns? Variants? Live coders are always ready to make beautiful moments of togetherness that defy isolation and distance. Tune into the TidalClub Longest Night right now:

And yeah, as I wrote this, someone really was using Atari ST stuff as pictured. That’s hot. A moment ago it was some chopped-up speech and birdsong in a meditative loop.

It’s such a marathon that I’m crazy late writing it up and there’s still plenty to catch live – plus YouTube lets you wind back the clock and needle-drop on anything you missed. (It’s also available on Twitch.)

Full schedule:


We’ve been in Lima, Moscow, Glasgow, Maebashi – Gunma JP, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Antwerp, Telavi Georgia (no, I didn’t mean to type Tel Aviv – in the Caucasus)… it’s a full global effort.

Look, on some level, I should say again – I don’t even care that this is live coding, though it is oddly relaxing watching the code move here and there. I think what’s great is how free and creative and organic the music is. That makes it in a way hard to describe this scene. The technologies in use, the fact that they’re largely free and open and don’t have expense as a barrier, the communities around them, and even the open-ended structure of how they’re used – this all matters. So it’s not to say these are separate concerns; they’re absolutely interconnected. But I think at the same time it’s too easy for folks to say “oh, some nerds making weird music with code” (also not wrong) and miss out that this is also a domain for musical expression that isn’t as constrained as it is by more commercial, superficial, or conformist demands.

Crazy things happening on Atari ST (in a Windows emulator). I think that might be an original Atari build of M algorithmic composer? Correct me if I’m wrong; I’m already in holiday brain / end of the year mode.
Crazy things happening in TidalCycles. It’s free, so have at it yourself, too!

In short – you’ve been to overcrowded clubs and boring festivals. This is the late-night, underground party where all the vibes are great and you never want to leave.

So yeah, if you get to the same place with an SP-404 or an iPad app or whatever it is, it’s all good. But wow is it fun when music is flowing freely and shared with other people, techniques included. And total kudos to some excellent free tools – live code environments that often turn out to be friendlier to beginners than the supposedly easy commercial stuff.

Soapbox mode deactivated.