Research consortium and symposium, Birmingham 25-26th September 2014

The first Doctoral consortium on Live Coding will take place on the 25th September 2014, from 11am until 5pm. Research students will present work and explore ideas with each other and facilitators, map out the future of the field and help steer network activities including the forthcoming international conference.
[Schedule and further info]

The Live Coding and Collaboration symposium will take place on the 26th September 2014, from 9:30am until 5pm and will include diverse peer reviewed papers and demonstrations which explore live coding and  collaboration from multiple perspectives, as well as live research workshop activities.
[Schedule, proceedings and further info]

The affiliated Network Music Festival will begin at 6pm on the 26th September 2014, with a concert in the same building in the University of Birmingham. Those registered for the symposium may attend this concert free of charge. The rest of the Network Music Festival requires separate registration, including the algorave late on the 26th,  and will take place in another part of Birmingham.

Please direct all questions to Alex McLean:

Key dates

  • Submission deadline: 21st July 2014 (extended)
  • Notification of acceptance: 31st July 2014
  • Resubmission of accepted papers: 25th August 2014
  • Registration closes: 15th September 2014
  • Live coding doctoral consortium: 25th September 2014
  • Live Coding and Collaboration symposium: 26th September 2014
  • The symposium will lead into the Network Music Festival, which this year will focus on Live Coding performance, and will continue until 28th September.

Locations, Travel and Accommodation

The consortium and symposium will take place in the Bramall Music Building, in the main campus (Edgbaston campus) of the University of Birmingham.

For those travelling by train, the University of Birmingham has its own train station, called “University”.

For a map showing the location of the Bramall building please click here.

The University offers a convenient option for on-campus accommodation. You may find cheaper options on If you are attending the algorave, you may wish to seek accommodation near that venue (such as the Paragon hotel or Backpackers hostel), as we will continue late into the night.

Organising committee

  • Alex McLean, ICSRiM, School of Music, University of Leeds
  • Shelly Knotts, School of Music, University of Durham
  • Scott Wilson, Electroacoustic studios, Department of Music, University of Birmingham
  • Thor Magnusson, School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex
  • Norah Lorway, Electroacoustic studios, Department of Music, University of Birmingham

Programme committee

  • Shelly Knotts, University of Durham (Programme Committee Chair)
  • Duncan Roland, University of Lincoln
  • Thomas Green, University of York
  • Nick Collins, University of Durham
  • Thor Magnusson, University of Sussex
  • Scott Wilson, University of Birmingham
  • David Ogborn, McMaster University, Hamilton
  • Andrew Brown, Griffith University, Brisbane
  • Yael Benn, University of Sheffield
  • Cecile Chevalier, University of Sussex
  • Sam Aaron, University of Cambridge
  • Robert Biddle, Carleton University
  • Jochen Otto, ZKM
  • Alex McLean, University of Leeds

This event is a Live Coding Research Network activity funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Live Coding and the Body Symposium in Brighton, 4th-6th July 2014

LiveCodingPosterSmallAs we announced in this post, the Live Coding and the Body Symposium will be held in the Creativity Zone at the University of Sussex on the weekend of July 5th and 6th, 2014. The Creativity Zone is a flexible multimedia space and there will be an 8 channel surround sound setup for the event, which will include various performances.

The  symposium starts on Friday 4th July 2014 with an Algorave at the Loft nightclub in the Lanes of Brighton. The Brighton Algorave has a Facebook Page.

On Saturday morning we continue on Sussex Campus (15-30 minutes out of Brighton on a bus – 9 minutes on a train) for a full day symposium that includes presentations, show cases, discussions and performances. The symposium ends on Sunday at noon with a lunch and lunch time performances and demos.

Information on how to get to Sussex/Brighton could hardly be better written than on this page here, although it specifies a different building (we will be in the Creativity Zone, not the Silverstone Building).

Brighton hotels get pretty full in the summer, so we are recommending that people book cheap accommodation on campus:

Bed and breakfast options also possible:

To register please use the Paypal button here below. The fee includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday + refreshments. Looking forward to see you in Brighton!

Live Coding Symposium Full Fee – £25.00

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 Concessionary Fee (students, low waged) – £15.00

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Day 0 – algorave (from 7pm until late, Friday 4th July 2014)

These days, no symposium is complete without an algorave, and this one is curated and organised by Chris Kiefer and Chad McKinney. For details, see and the facebook page.

Day 1 schedule (Saturday 5th July 2014)

The symposium proper begins, in the University of Sussex campus – see above for location details.

10.00 – Coffee and registration
10.30 – Introduction to the symposium
11.00 – Two-presenter panel session led by Sally Jane Norman
           Presenter 1: Marije Baalman
           Presenter 2: Renick Bell
12.30 – Lunch
13.30 – Two-presenter panel session led by David Berry
           Presenter 1: Nick Rothwell
           Presenter 2: Hester Reeve
15.00 – Live performances by Marije Baalman and David Ogborn
15.30 – Tea and biscuits
16.00 – Bitsize presentations (ca 10 minutes each)
Julio d’Escrivan (Soundpainting as live coding approach)
Charlie Roberts (Live Coding Interfaces for Mobile Devices)
Andrew Brown (gestural controllers and code description)
Cecile Chevalier (Perceptual simulations in painting with code)
Alex McLean (choreography and code; live coded puppetry)
17.00 – Closing discussion
19.00 – Dinner @ Hare and Hounds (Mexican street food and craft beer!)

Day 2 schedule (Sunday 6th July 2014)

10.00 – Coffee
10.30 – Paper session
David Ogborn (Embodimentin relation to audio technologies)
Aneurin Barker Snook (Live coding and deafness)
Andrew Duff (live coding modular synths)
12.00 – Discussion – book planning, collaboration, code sprint, paper sprint, workshops, etc.
12.30 – Lunch
13.30 – The End (involving a swim on the Brighton beach?)

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.



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).


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.

Symposium on live coding and the body (and Algorave), 4th-6th July 2014

After a highly successful launch symposium last month, our next focus is the first of three themed symposia, “Live coding and the body”. it will take place on the 5th-6th July 2014, in the University of Sussex, in Brighton (a short train ride from London), with an algorave performance event on the evening/night before, of the 4th July, at The Loft.

This symposium will focus on relationships between code and the body in live performance arts. In this two-day event we aim to explore questions such as:

  • How can live coding contribute to an understanding of the body, language and notation in live performances using digital technologies?
  • To what extent is live coding an embodied, or disembodied performance practice?
  • How can we better understand audience perception of live coding as performance?
  • What does/could it mean to connect language abstractions of live coding with sensory experience; e.g. tactile, visible, kinaesthetic and proprioceptive as well as auditory?

The symposium will follow immediately after the excellent NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) conference in London, which brings an ideal opportunity to explore all of this in the context of this research community. 

During the workshop, we will aim to challenge assumptions of live coding – computer centric, digital centric, sound centric, audience focussed. We will explore audience perception and engagement, and live coding beyond the keyboard (e.g. Brain/music interfaces, tangible interfaces, machines/analogue computers, gamepads). Furthermore, how does live coding perform beyond sound – we aim to explore finding a language for discussing live coding beyond a perceptual modality.

Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding

COMJ3801-Cover.inddWe’re very happy to announce that the Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding is now available on-line, and the print copies are finding their way to libraries now, hopefully near you. It features a wide range of articles on live coding and its role in participatory laptop orchestras, choreography, self-manipulating code, network music, semantics and copyright. Thor Magnusson’s overview paper “Herding Cats: Live Coding in the Wild” was selected as a sample article, as is available for free download.

This special issue appears at around the ten year mark for Live Coding research, within a highly respected journal, and is the result of a great deal of work by authors, editors and a fastidious copy editor. Congratulations to all involved.

Series editor: Douglas Keislar
Guest editors: Alex McLean, Julian Rohrhuber, Nick Collins


  • Thor Magnusson, Herding Cats: Observing Live Coding in the Wild
  • David Ogborn, Live Coding in a Scalable, Participatory Laptop Orchestra
  • Kate Sicchio, Hacking Choreography: Dance and Live Coding
  • Till Bovermann and Dave Griffiths, Computation as Material in Live Coding
  • Scott Wilson, Norah Lorway, Rosalyn Coull, Konstantinos Vasilakos and Tim Moyers, Free as in BEER: Some Explorations into Structured Improvisation Using Networked Live-Coding Systems
  • Andrew Sorensen, Ben Swift and Alistair Riddell, The Many Meanings of Live Coding
  • Martin Zeilinger, Live Coding the Law: Improvisation, Code, and Copyright

Continue reading Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding


We are happy to announce the launch of the Live Coding Research Network (LCRN), hosting a series of symposia and other events over the next two years, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Live Coding involves writing and modifying code while it is active, turning computer programming into a performing art. The TOPLAP movement ( has explored live coding in music and video animation since 2003, and during this time live coding has expanded into cross disciplinary field. The LCRN steering committee alone includes researchers from such diverse fields of Education, Digital Aesthetics, Computer Science, Live Art, Music Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction, Choreography, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Participatory IT and Computer Games. The reason for this diversity is that live coding not only offers creative approaches to design, but also insights into how Human thought might to some extent be externalised and made public, a promise that is of interest to critical theorists, psychologists, pedagogues and practitioners alike.

Our first event was on the 21st March, and was a kick-off day designed to introduce the technology, philosophy and practice of live coding as a cross-disciplinary field of research. In the coming days we will announce details of the first symposium to be held at the University of Sussex in Brighton in early July.

Our partner organisation TOPLAP has also been awarded funds by Sound and Music to showcase live coding practice through a diverse practice-led programme alongside our research events. The first will be in London in partnership with the Craft Council.

Here’s to the next two years of Live coding research!