It’s a first … code is music

Well for me, anyhow. As I write this, I am listening to a live performance of music being coded and played on two laptops by two artists on stage (AA Cell aka Andrew Sorensen and Andrew R. Brown and yes, like all musicians, they have their own My Space site).

What they are doing is a complete mystery to me but it’s mesmerising. I get that they are ‘playing an instrument’ but they are writing the music (instrumental and ‘vocal’) as they go. It’s live coding I declare. The code on the screen (in several colours) is a moving pattern in itself … an artwork which responds along with sound and rhythm to their keyboards. They are gently moving in rhythm … extraordinary stuff. Live composition. Code is poetry? Now it’s music.

And of course I should be recording it for a suggestion of what I am hearing. I am in fact, typing to the rhythm … . Closest I’ve experienced to a jazz jamming session.

Later over coffee: there was more … much more … graphics, movies (from files and live), layers, filters. And a perfectly lucid ‘explanation’ of how it all works (thanks core audio, video, graphics in Mac OSX).

OK this is new, live performance art and the future for VJ and DJs can only be hinted at. I’ve already started thinking about how some of this astonishing stuff can be incorporated into live performance with actors … I’m thinking speech rhythms and their affect on the work of Topology (last night’s performance), and now this … live input, digital sampling and media output. Like wow.


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