Emute Lab @ Sussex

Experimental Music Technologies Lab

Month: November 2015

Live Coding the intersection between the arts, research and education

:::: Wednesday, December 2nd, 1pm, @ Silverstone Building, Room 121 ::::

Code is one of the most powerful, creative and transformative media available. However the potential of code is still largely incomprehensible and out of reach for most of our society. How and why should we address this as a problem?  In order to help us unpick and explore these simple yet deep questions we will follow the story of Sonic Pi – a live coding music synth designed for the arts, research and education.

 Sonic Pi was originally created as a response to the challenge of finding new ways to teach code in schools. It has since evolved into an extremely powerful and performance-ready live coding instrument suitable for professional artists and DJs. It is also a rich research platform for exploring questions related to liveness, time and concurrency in programming languages. Yet, despite this rapid evolution it has maintained its core mission – to be simple enough for 10 year olds.

Through Sonic Pi as a lens we will be forced to confront some interesting and challenging questions: – How is code creative? How can we communicate through code?  Can programming languages be expressive interfaces? Can notation become an instrument? To what extent is performance a form of education and education a kind of performance?

You’ll also leave with a simple, joyful and powerful new musical instrument to start playing with.

Sam Aaron Bio:
Samuel Aaron is a researcher, software architect and computational thinker with a deep fascination surrounding the notion of programming as a form of communication. His research focuses on the design of novel domain specific languages to explore liveness, conceptual efficiency and performance within programming languages. Samuel works as a Research Associate at University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, where he has created Sonic Pi, a powerful live coding environment for realtime sound synthesis targetted for education. Sonic Pi has been used successfully to teach programming and music within schools but also to live code music for people to dance to in nightclubs.

Sam will give a workshop afterwards between 2-4pm. Sign-up here: http://goo.gl/forms/yp21HIYE4x

Visiting lecture: Mick Grierson

:::: Wednesday, November 25th, 1pm, @ Recital Room, Falmer House 120 ::::

Mick will be showing demos from a selection of research and development projects currently underway at the EAVI lab at Goldsmiths, including the H2020 funded Music wearables project RAPID-MIX, the AHRC/NESTA/ACE funded project SOUNDLAB, and the new SPIDERSONICS app, an ongoing project with Chris Kiefer (Sussex), Simon Katan (Goldsmiths), Rebecca Fiebrink (Goldsmiths), and a selection of schools / arts organisations.

Mick Grierson


Mick Grierson is Director of Creative Computing at Goldsmiths College, where he is a Reader in the Department of Computing. He specialises in developing new technologies for the creative sector, across arts, industry and education, including in SEN (Special Educational Needs) contexts. He currently runs the European Commision-funded project “RAPID-MIX”, in partnership with IRCAM, Paris, and the Music Technology Group at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona.

His involvement is central in some of the most noteworthy creative technology installations since 2010 including Christian Marclay’s internationally acclaimed “The Clock”, Heart n Soul’s “Dean Rodney Singers” (Part of the Paralympics Unlimited Festival), and Science Museum’s “From Oramics to Electronica”. In addition, he is the founder of Goldsmiths Digital and co-founder of the Goldsmiths Embodied Audiovisual Interaction Group (EAVI).

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