Alex McLean – creating communities and interference patterns

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Alex McLean is a well-known artist, musician, researcher, and coder based in Sheffield. He is the creator of Tidal Cycles, free software for writing music, and is one of founders of live coding and the algorave phenomenon.

Alex actively builds communities in the areas that interest him, and in this episode we talk about some of the events, festivals and groups he’s been instrumental in developing, including Algomech and Dorkbot London.

He’s also an academic researcher on the Penelope Project, and we discuss his particular interest in the seldom-acknowledged connection between weaving and modern technology. Alex explains the loom punch cards aren’t the interesting bit – it’s the interference patterns we should be focussing on.

This episode includes a live-coding demo. If you want to download TidalCycles and try it yourself, the code Alex was working with is:

d1 $ jux rev $ chunk 4 (hurry 2)
$ n “0 .. 7” # sound “cpu1”

d2 $ jux rev $ off 0.25 (|+ n 12) $ n (off 0.125 (+ 7) $ “”) # sound “rash”

Alex’s website

Algorave

The Penelope Project

iTunes link

HC on Spotify

HC on PlayerFM

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