Art & Culture
The Sound of Machine
Electronic Dance Music gets the party started and the partygoers get grooving to peppy tunes. But music is more than just producing tunes and sounds. How about getting people to dance to music generated from algorithms, using live coding techniques? That in nutshell is Algorave, a sub culture, which is unique and new to this subcontinent.
TIFA Working Studios is hosting Algorave: Live-Coded Music this evening. To find out more, we catch up with Akash Sharma who will be performing and creating an unmatchable experience.“Algorave can include a range of styles, including a complex form of minimal techno. The movement has been described as a meeting point of hacker philosophy, geek culture and clubbing. At such events, the artist may not be the main point of focus for the audience and the attention may be centred on a screen that displays live coding, which is the process of writing source code,” says Sharma.
The audience therefore doesn’t only dance or listen to the music generated by the source code but also gets to see the process of programming which is very interesting.
Sharma has been generating sounds and music using algorithms and data for six years now. He believes that algorave is a celebration of the purest representation of electronic music. Most electronic music is made by machines that run on an algorithm. But algorave performers open the hood of the machine and show the audience how things are manipulated.
“With the source code and algorithms projected on a large screen, the concept showcases programming as an art form and like any performance art, artists have to balance the fine line between technical proficiency and showmanship. They have to go inside their heads to understand the mathematics and logic of the specific platform they play and through that connect with the audience outside. It’s the way the conductor of an orchestra of machines operates,” Sharma adds.
Although it sounds like something close to EDM, Algorave is in fact not bound by genres or stylistic choices. “Artists are free to create sounds from a range of genres, from Hindustani classical to jazz, to maybe something that sounds like a post apocalyptic party organised by robots, after they have taken over humanity for slave labour,” he adds with a smirk.
Talking about how audiences react to the art form, Sharma says, “The audience’s perspective of ‘creative’ programming, in which you express and not create something functional, is amazing to watch. We are hoping to democratise this creative programming more and not have this intimidation of computer literacy. Many possibilities open up the moment you start communicating with the machines. At the event at TIFA’s, the musician is going to stay away from Noise and Drone Aesthetics. “The framework, like always, is to improvise, so I am going to start slow, making sure the code is simple and is translating to the audiences. I will make sure that the codes or algorithms are not intimidating and are informally targeting beginners to be a part of creative programming expression. Hopefully, the curious mind would join the party and can do the same in the next Algorave,” Sharma concludes.
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Algorave -- Live-Coded Music will be held at TIFA Working Studios, Sadhu Vaswani Chowk on July 20 from 7.30 - 9 pm