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Sonic Event (ii)

Alex McLean and Neil C Smith

29 Oct

Friday 29 October 6.30-9pm

An evening of live sonic performance with Open Source software.

Alex McLean is one the best known “live coders”. Livecoding is where computer programming becomes a performance, or “describing art while it is being made, in order to make it”.

His projects include TOPLAP (an organisation for promotion of live algorithm programming , Slub (live ambient gabba with Ade Ward and Dave Griffiths  and  (software art repository with Amy Alexander, Olga Goriunova, Alexei Shulgin and others Alex and Jim Prevett programmed a small festival of Audio Visual Livecoding hosted by Access Space in 2007

Neil C Smith will be performing Radio Access Memory. For this event it will be an improvised performance, a live remixing of Creative Commons licencesd material from live internet radio broadcasts. RAM will be performed with his Open Source software project, Praxis.

Radio Access Memory came about through a desire to merge the worlds of live electronic sound improvisation with plunderphonics. A term coined by Canadian composer John Oswald, plunderphonics refers to the use of other people’s recordings as raw material for creating new music. Thus plunderphonics is a creative process that is openly derivative. In a lot of plunderphonic work, source material is chosen for its extra-musical associations as well as its musical qualities, and the choice of source material has a strong aesthetic meaning within the work. With Radio Access Memory the artist wanted to remove most of this layer of source choice, and instead create the work out of whatever sound can be taken from the radio at the time of the performance - the only choice of source material being through the radio frequency dial. Inspired by the texts of postmodernist commentator Arthur Kroker, who amongst others posits the view of digital sampling as an extension of human memory, this piece is intended as a metaphor for the way we juxtapose and manipulate music we have heard in the creation of new work.

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