Monday, 7 March 2016

TOPLAP Leeds: First public outing of "FoxDot"

Outside of my PhD research into nonverbal communication in musicians I also have a passion for Live Coding music and programming my own music-making system, FoxDot. I'm quite new on the Live Coding "scene" and have been wanting to get more involved for the last year or so but never really plucked up the courage to do something about it. Luckily for me I was asked by the Live Coding pioneer, Dr. Alex McLean, to help set up TOPLAP Leeds, a node extension of the established Live Coding group TOPLAP, along with a few other students.

What this means, I don't really know, but Alex encouraged me to put on a small demonstration of the code I've been working on to get some feedback from my peers. It was the first time I had used FoxDot in a public setting that wasn't YouTube and I was actually really nervous. I started working on the system last year for a module in composition as part of my Computer Music MA and from there it grew - but I had never really thought I would use it to perform. The feedback was really positive and the group gave me some great ideas to put into practice but my PhD comes first and I'm trying to limit the amount of time I spend on FoxDot to only weekday evenings and Sunday - but it's just so fun! 

FoxDot is a pre-processed Python based language that talks to a powerful sound synthesis engine called SuperCollider and let's you create music-playing objects that can work together or independently to make music and I'm really hoping to promote it over the next few years amongst the Live Coding community. It's generally in a working state but I have so many ideas for it that it seems like it's still very much in its infancy. The reason for writing this blog post about it is to try and make it all a bit more real. For so long I've been working on it in a private way; only letting the public see it in brief clips on YouTube - it's time I actually started to put it out there and letting it loose on the world. If you're interested in Live Coding, I urge you to check out http://toplap.org and also my FoxDot website https://sites.google.com/site/foxdotcode/ and see what you can do. I'm performing at the ODI Leeds on Friday 29th April and you can get tickets here.

I hope this is the first step of a long and rewarding journey.