Launch report

The network started officially with a great launch symposium back on the 21st March 2014, here’s a quick report.

We had a full day of talks, with the focus being on three presentations providing context for live coding research.  First,  Nick Collins (Reader in Composition, University of Durham) gave a talk about the origins of live coding, for the gist you download his slides here.  Then Emma Cocker (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University) gave a talk linking with the earlier AHRC Live Notation project (and the future AHRC Weaving Codes project), which created confluence between live coding with the fine art practice of live art. Emma’s talk was based on a Performance Research journal article Live Notation: Reflections on a Kairotic Practice.  Then the third was by Alexandra Cardenas, a Columbian composer currently studying at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Live coding communities are growing around the world, and Alexandra related her cross-continental experience both as a participant for several years during the growth of the vibrant scene in Mexico City, and her experience introducing live coding to 120 keen students in Chennai; the first live coding workshop in India, as far as we know.

Following lunch we enjoyed a remote performance from acclaimed live coder Andrew Sorensen, performing remotely from Australia with his Extempore system.

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Then some shorter talks, introducing the breadth of ongoing live coding research. Kate Sicchio spoke about her Choreography Hacks and other live coding dance performances, and Duncan Rowland presented initial steps towards a live coding installation involving multiple Tidal users.  Kate’s talk relates nicely into our later symposium on Live Coding and the Body, and Duncan’s with our symposium in autumn on live coding, collaboration and network music.  There were a good few strange and exciting live coding systems introduced, Sam Aaron talked about the fast-developing Sonic PI live coding system for teaching music and computer science, Alan Blackwell showed his Palimpsest live and highly visual programming language, Nick Rothwell introduced the Field live programming language (and thereby manipulating time itself).

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There was some time for open discussion too, which is hard to summarise, although Tom Hall’s idea of Slow Coding emerged as a point of interest, and hopefully we’ll see some (slow) activity around that idea too.

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