Martin Zeilinger, Vector Festival Co-Curator
Jul 16, 2016

Sonic Pi Live Coding Introductory Workshop – Make Music with Algorithms!

Sonic Pi Live Coding Introductory Workshop – Make Music with Algorithms!

Facilitator: Martin Zeilinger, Vector Festival Co-Curator

Live coding is an exciting form of experimental digital sound-making that uses ‘on-the-fly’ programming techniques to mix traditional improvisation with algorithmic composition. This workshop will introduce you to creative electronic music live through simple programming techniques using a mix of sound synthesis and digital sampling. In the practice of live coding, the computer code you enter is evaluated in real-time, and yields an instant sonic feedback. This turns traditional programming (“code now, run later”) on its head, and lets you explore amazing ways to learn or improve programming skills by playing and performing live.

Prior programming skills are NOT REQUIRED for this workshop!

For this introductory workshop, we will use a program called Sonic Pi, an open-source, light-weight, multi-platform live coding software written for the Raspberry Pi (also available for Mac OSX and Windows). Sonic Pi is a perfect programming language for live coding beginners – its syntax is simple and intuitive, using natural language, but it allows for a lot of complexity, and you will be making some noise and rhythmic patterns within minutes.

By the end of the workshop, you will be well on your way towards becoming a versatile live coding musician. You know how to: read and write Sonic Pi code; how to synthesise sounds from scratch; how to trigger and manipulate samples; how to create complex, generative, nested layers of live coding cacophony –– and also how to perform live!

Live coding is about sharing code to explore and enjoy musical ideas together. During the workshop, you will have opportunity to play on your own and collaborate with others.

NOTE *****On Sunday (the day following the workshop), you are invited to the Vector Festival closing party, where you can join me in an improvised, participative Sonic Pi performance in the style of a so-called ‘Mexican Roulette’ (a famous and fun live coding performance practice).****


For the workshop, please bring a laptop with the newest version of Sonic Pi (available at installed.

Click HERE for the registration for this workshop via EventBrite on the Vector Website.


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