Emute Lab @ Sussex

Experimental Music Technologies Lab

Month: September 2014

Autumn 2014 Programme

September 23rd – October 8th: Visiting Researcher
Enrike Hurtado Mendieta: The Digital Txalaparta

Visiting researcher, Enrike Hurtado Mendieta, is working on a project that explores how the txalaparta, a Basque traditional acoustic instrument, can be represented in the digital domain. The project involves studying the generative rules of the txalaparta playing, digital representation and cultural reception of such work. Further activities include:

October 1st, Music at MFM lunchtime seminar
October 1st, Enrike, MFM RiP (Research in Progress) seminar
October 2nd, Txalaparta workshop at 1pm, Recital Room, Falmer House


October 3rd: Guest lecture (Silverstone 121, 2pm)
Andrew Sorensen: Programming In Time – Live Coding for Creative Performances

The act of programming is typically removed from a program’s ongoing execution, both temporally and spatially. This is particularly true for real-time systems, where the system’s operation is often tightly coupled with the physical environment. This talk aims to challenge this separation by looking at programming as the ongoing orchestration of real-time processes through time – an ongoing cyber-physical dialogue between the programmer, the machine and the environment.

After a very brief history of live coding Andrew’s talk will delve into some of the deeper technical issues surrounding this challenging domain.

Using Andrew’s Extempore system, this talk will explore notions of time, liveness, feedback and procedural orchestration, addressing these ideas from the perspective of both end-user programmers as well as system designers.

Biography: Andrew Sorensen is an artist-programmer whose interests lie at the intersection of computer science and creative practice. Andrew is well known for creating the programming languages that he uses in live performance to generate improvised audiovisual theatre. He has been invited to perform these contemporary audiovisual improvisations around the world. Andrew is a Senior Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology and is the author of the Impromptu and Extempore programming language environments.


October 28th: Adam Linson – Improvisation Workshop (Creativity Zone, 10-12)
Real-time interactive music systems: Design, Development and Performance

What relationships between interactive system design, development and performance lie beneath the surface? Why should we understand how we interact with our instruments physically, mentally and musically? Why should we understand the internal makeup of the hardware and software we use? In this hands-on workshop, Adam Linson will draw on examples from his experience with electro-acoustic improvisation to discuss the concepts, motivations and technologies behind his approach to real-time interactive music systems. Further information on Adam here.

The workshop is mandatory for the 3rd year Music Informatics students and open to all Media, Film and Music students. Participants are invited to bring any acoustic instruments and/or software along. There will be a chance for practical engagement. Please sign up here


October 30th: Gene Felice II – Biosensor Workshop (Recital Room, Falmer House, 10-11.30)

Bio sensor workshop with Gene Felice II. Open to all MFM students. This event is in relation to Gene’s presentation later in the day, organised by Kate O’Riordan.


December 4th: Alice Eldridge. (Jubilee G35,  3-4pm)
Listening to the Forests and Feeding the Crickets: Field notes from a transdisciplinary soundscapologist

In L’Arte dei Rumori (1913) Russolo decreed the value of everyday soundscape elements in the compositional palette; In The Tuning of the World (1977) Murray Schaefer espoused the value of listening to and preservation of our everyday soundscape as both methodology and aim of Acoustic Ecology. With the emergence of Soundscape Ecology, the scientific value of listening to natural soundscapes as a means of assessing biodiversity is now being recognised.

It was for primarily scientific purposes that I spent 8 weeks recording the soundscape of Ecuadorian Cloud Forest and Amazon this summer, but I could not help listening as a musician and as a human too. In this informal talk I will consider what we can learn from different ways of listening to the soundscape and illustrate with recordings and images from our field work.


December (Date TBC): SLOW (Sussex Laptop Orchestra Workshop)
Chad McKinney will lead the inauguration meeting of the Sussex Laptop Orchestra. Chad will present his research and practice in networked music performance and introduces his software for synced and distributed musical performance. Participants should bring their computers as the orchestra will take form during this session.

Brighton Algorave

To launch the Live Coding and the Body symposium at the University of Sussex, we organised a Friday night Algorave at the Loft club in Ship Street. Brilliantly planned by Chris Kiefer and Chad McKinney, the evening included performance by algorithmic superstars like: Mico Rex (Mexico), Sarah Angliss (UK), Norah Lorway (Canada), Renick Bell (Japan), Icarus (UK/Australia), Chris McCormick (UK), Alo Alik (UK), Charlie Roberts (US), Adam Parkinson (UK), Anny FM (UK), Luuma (UK), and Glitch Lich (US), with brilliant live coded visuals by Antonio Roberts, Davide Della Casa and Guy John.

Algorave performances are popping up all over the world, see website. As per definition, an algorave performance should be dance music generated by live algorithms. This music could be computationally generated with AI, live coded, or made with audience interaction.

10534663_10152120848052331_2288281595163159965_n 10521655_10152120848042331_6851352288535362828_n 10509622_10152120848047331_1729445021903302558_n 10475801_10152120848277331_947531823856448984_n 10453383_10152120848037331_578395484992795264_n 10448808_10152120848032331_5417024659676996743_n 10376999_10152120848287331_6987370470205910995_n 10376999_10152120848282331_3442438143992448323_nPictures: John Reeves (@toobad)

Live Coding & the Body Symposium, 5th-6th July 2014

I had the opportunity to attend the Live Coding & the Body symposium at Sussex’s Creativity Zone earlier this summer and what an enjoyable couple of days it was. The event was multi-faceted in its approach to live coding as a performance practise and academic research area and brought together visiting speakers and delegates from across the globe.  Presentations were interspersed with performances demonstrating the various technologies used in the practise, ranging from laptop performances to a modular synthesizer.

Live Coding and the Body Symposium

Live Coding and the Body Symposium

A key topic of discussion was the problem of latency between gesture and sound output in live coding and the advantages and disadvantages this brings to the creative process. A related issue I found particularly interesting was the contrasting performance styles resulting from different technological mediums: the overtly physical nature of performances involving for example, the use of sensor gloves in comparison to the laptop performances where the performance is more static,  movement is internalised and the body is located in the mind of the performer, envisaged as a form in 3D space. Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of  the ‘body without organs’ provided a really pertinent and illuminating theoretical perspective to these issues.

As someone fairly new to live coding, the symposium gave a comprehensive introduction to the practise that was stimulating and accessible, whilst also covering the more complex and cutting-edge aspects of the field.

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