This is the project website & blog of MIRLCAuto: A Virtual Agent for Music Information Retrieval in Live Coding, a project funded by the EPSRC HDI Network Plus Grant - Art, Music, and Culture theme.


As a follow-up of the workshops to be held in London (IKLECTIK), Barcelona (L'Ull Cec) and Leicester (Leicester Hackspace), the original plan was to held three on-site concerts in London (IKLECTIK), Barcelona (Phonos), and Leicester (MTI^2, De Montfort University). Due to the pandemic, we are adapting the original idea to what it is currently possible with an emphasis to the online experience.

Leicester MTI2 #

Dirty Dialogues #

Monday, 17 May 2021. PACE (De Montfort University).

Featuring: Dirty Electronics Ensemble (John Richards, Zach Dawson, Robin Foster, Ben Middle, Jacob Myer Braslawsce, Matt Rogerson, Amit Patel, Audrey Riley, Sam Topley, Samuel Warren), Jonathan Moss (performer), Anna Xambó (performer) and Sam Roig (Q&A moderator).

This concert will be pre-recorded due to COVID restrictions and premiered online at a later date.

Barcelona Phonos #

SuperCollider and the MIRLCa library using Atom by Ramon Casamajó.

Different Similar Sounds: A Live Coding Evening "From Scratch" #

Thursday, 29 April 2021 at 19.30 GMT. Sala Aranyó (Campus UPF Poblenou). Free access with invitation. Organised by Phonos.

In live coding, the technique called “from scratch” consists of playing live for 9 minutes starting from an empty screen. At the end of the performance all the attendants have to clap no matter the result! From scratch sessions visualize the programming languages at high or low level (try to play from scratch using, for example, Tidal, SuperCollider or Csound) and the tools (classes, functions, data structures, etc.) that allow the livecoder to carry out the different tasks within the performance. These sessions take advantage of the time and the empty screen restriction to explore new possibilities.

MIRLCa is a SuperCollider extension developed by Anna Xambó as part of the EPSRC HDI Network Plus Grant project “MIRLCAuto: A Virtual Agent for Music Information Retrieval in Live Coding”. The system is a follow-up of the also self-built SuperCollider extension MIRLC. MIRLCa combines machine learning algorithms with music information retrieval (MIR) techniques to retrieve crowdsourced sounds from the online database, which results in a sound-based music style. The tool was explored during a workshop co-organised with l’ull cec in collaboration with TOPLAP Barcelona in January 2021.

In this session, four live coders associated to TOPLAP (Ramon Casamajó, Roger Pibernat, Iván Paz, and Chigüire) will use MIRLCa “from scratch”, adapting the library to their particular approaches and aesthetics.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event has a capacity of 15 people, which can assist with an invitation. The event will be streamed in our channels in a later date.

TOPLAP Barcelona is a collective that practices and promotes live coding as a sound and visual creation technique, generating a technological appropriation through the use and development of free and open software focused on generating relationships and own discourses. TOPLAP Barcelona aims to be an open space that challenges the existing narratives of the female participation in the technical fields of music technology and computer science. For Toplap, live coding is a form of performing art and a creativity technique focused on the real-time writing of source code and the use of interactive programming, it is a new direction in electronic music, it is improvising and formalizing in public. Live coders expose and modify the software in real time, generating music and/or images, while the manipulation of the code is projected to allow viewing the process. Live coding works in all musical genres, and due to the elements that compose it -art, science and technology- it also configures a social and political discourse.

Ramon Casamajó is a musician and computer scientist. QBRNTHSS (pronounced “quebrantahuesos”, meaning “bearded vulture” in Spanish) is the alias that he uses for his solo works focused on electronics and live coding. As QBRNTHSS has released a split LP (Harry Dean Stanton, Call It Anything Records 2019), and participates in algoraves, sessions and workshops organized by the TOPLAP Barcelona collective, with which he is actively involved. He has participated in online events hosted by the international TOPLAP community and some festivals. He is part of Turing Tarpit, a duet with whom has released several works and played regularly in Barcelona’s experimental underground circuit. He also runs the micro record label Call It Anything Records.

Iván Paz. With backgrounds in physics, music and computer science, Iván Paz‘s work is framed in critical approaches to technology centered around from-scratch construction as an exploratory technique. Since 2010, he has been part of the live coding community and has presented workshops, conferences and concerts around America and Europe.

Roger Pibernat. Graduate in Pataphysics and Doctor in the Philosophy of the Absurd, Roger lives parallel lives in dreamland and wakeland. Obsessed with all things oneiric, recursive, self-referencial and feedback loops, he's constantly in search of new ways to bend and transcend logic. Professional illustrator and luthier aficionado, he joined the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra, and co-founded the Wú collective with whom he has developed several electroacoustic instruments, electrovisual shows and experimental software. He is driven by the principle: “not knowing how something is done is a good reason to do it,” which keeps him on the edge of hysteria and baldness.

Chigüire. Hailing from the valley of Caracas, Venezuela, Chigüire is a multimedia artist interested in the dialogue between humans and machines. Although they have spent much time using computers as crude tool to earn money to survive, they found a calling in live coding and computer art in general. Despite being one of the newest participants of TOPLAP Barcelona, they quickly found a home there, and a place to grow in the art of making computers draw and sing, with the hopes of someday getting them to tell us their secrets.

Transnodal TOPLAP #

They Are the Robots #

Sunday, 21 February 2021 17:30-18:00 GMT

A live coding session performed by Anna Xambó during Transnodal TOPLAP (19-21 February 2021).

In this session, the MIRLCa library is used, which is a self-built tool for live coding enhanced with a virtual agent. This version includes the feedback from participants of the workshops organised together with IKLECTIK, l'ull cec/TOPLAP Barcelona, and Leicester Hackspace.


Similar Sounds: A Virtual Agent in Live Coding #

Two performances and a Q&A panel #

Saturday, 12 December 2020 from 14:00-15:00 GMT. Organised by IKLECTIK.

Two performances by Anna Xambó (De Montfort University) and Gerard Roma (University of Huddersfield) respectively and a follow-up Q&A panel with the two musicians and Iván Paz (TOPLAP), moderated by Sam Roig (L’Ull Cec). The audience is invited to ask questions on the YouTube Live Chat.

Gerard Roma is a musician and music technology researcher from Barcelona. He performs and releases electronic music under different aliases. His music often involves sound databases, processed field recordings and general audio mangling, either via live coding or visual exploration. His work has been presented in Spain, UK, USA, Ireland, Norway and Germany.

Anna Xambó is a Senior Lecturer in Music and Audio Technology at De Montfort University and an experimental electronic music producer. Her research and practice focus on new interfaces for music performance looking at live coding, collaborative and participatory music systems, and multichannel spatialisation. Her solo and group performances have been presented internationally in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA. To date, she has released three solo recordings: “init” (2010, Carpal Tunnel), “On the Go” (2013, Carpal Tunnel) and “H2RI” (2018, pan y rosas.

Iván Paz studied physics and mathematics at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM). During this time, he also experimented with music and photography. His main interests involve science, art, technology, and how their interactions can create new aesthetic, conceptual and thinking directions. In 2006 Iván started working as an audio engineering professor. From this process, in 2011 he conceived and leaded a seminar in mathematical methods applied to music composition at UNAM. The activity developed there, produced several collaborations and working processes, for example live coding sessions in collaboration with the National Centre of the Arts of México (NCA). His current work involves artificial intelligence methodologies for the study of musical features and parameter spaces exploration of generative systems. Iván Paz is currently member of TOPLAP Barcelona.

Sam Roig. Since 2006, helped by a fuzzy network of collaborators, Sam Roig has been directing l'Ull Cec, a cultural organization that has produced a wide assortment of public events and artistic projects related to sonic arts and experimental music, as well as dissemination activities around audio technology topics related to these disciplines. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Huddersfield.

← Home