Live Coding the computer as part of a free improvisation orchestra of acoustic instruments

Antonio Goulart and Miguel Antar

In this paper we present our experience of having a live coder amongst acoustic musicians in a free improvisation orchestra. The acoustic musicians in the orchestra had no previous experience with live coding. We will discuss all the difficulties we experienced and the process for overcoming them, illustrating our observations with audio excerpts from some of our recorded sessions. We will also go through a discussion about the nature of the instruments and raise the question of how deeply the musicians should understand code in order to effectively interact in the free improvisation context. Finally we propose a piece for live coder and orchestra that artificially explores the different dimensions of an orchestra session.