Live-Coding Music with TidalCycles

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Live-Coding Music with TidalCycles

Live-coding is a medium to create music and visuals live, allowing for algorithmic exploration and performance. The workshop will focus on TidalCycles, which is a free and open-source tool that is ubiquitous in the live-coding scene, and often seen at algorave performances. The workshop will give attendees the skills to explore musical ideas with code, an introduction to the landscape of live-coding, and steps to combine TidalCycles with traditional music production tools.

Course Logistics

Thursday, March 10, 2022


$80 for a 3h workshop
We also offer Diversity Scholarships. Apply here.

Experience Level:
This workshop will be geared to serve a range of student experience levels. We will assume zero-knowledge, but it is always helpful to have music theory, music production and/or computer programming knowledge.

Learners are asked to bring their own laptops as well as a pair of headphones (wired, if possible). We will have a very limited supply of laptops for learners who are unable to have TidalCycles installed and running on their machines.

Workshop Outline

  • Introductions
  • A brief history of live-coding & algoraves
  • Learning TidalCycles pattern language
  • Creating algorithmic rhythms
  • Sample manipulation with code
  • Exploring melodies
  • Performance tips-and-tricks
  • Share-out / performances!

Educational and Experiential Goals

  • Learners will have the ability to explore musical ideas using code (TidalCycles)
  • Learners will understand the landscape of live-coding and the communities around creating art with code
  • Learners will be given next-steps to continue learning and ways to be involved with the communities
  • Learners will feel empowered to explore musical curiosities with code
  • Learners will be able to share their creations with each other and the instructors in the course

Dan is a multi-instrumentalist, engineer and creative coder based bi-coastaly in San Francisco and Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer and is a lifelong musician exploring the sounds of cello, piano, synthesizers (and code!). He uses his knowledge of software, hardware, design and music to create expressive soundscapes and projects in the interactive media space. His musical style is influenced by his upbringing as a classical cellist, improvisational jazz, and exploration in different forms of sound design. Dan has taught workshops for creative coding at the SF Conservatory of Music, Babycastles (NYC), and Pratt Institute. Dan is also an organizer for AVClubSF and livecodeNYC.

Kit Christopher is a live coder living in Dallas TX. He is a lifelong fan of music, an avid cyclist, and a friend to all cats. Look for a collection of his new music in 2022.

R Tyler is a San Francisco-based algorithmic artist and researcher. He writes code to make music that people dance to. Computational scientific processes infiltrate his music productions, compositions, and live-performances.