Algorave – Bluedot Festival

Bluedot with OVO Energy is an award-winning festival of discovery at the grounds of a deep space observatory. Set against a backdrop of the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, bluedot combines a truly stellar line-up of music with a ground-breaking programme of live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks.

An Algorave is a party where electronic music is generated live from algorithms. The word was coined around 2012, initially as a kind of joke, but has since taken hold with Algoraves taking place in over 40 cities around the world.

At an Algorave, the creation of algorithms are brought into the experience of the music itself. This process is opened up by projecting the code on screens in the venue, so audience members can see how the music they hear is being made. This is often complimented by algorithmically generated visuals projected alongside the code.

Songs for Stylophone Beatbox

Stylophone Beatbox
On Wednesday 27th October I did a performance at Birmingham City University as part of my studies in Digital Arts in Performance. For this performance I wanted to look at the environment and conditions you need in order for errors to occur and to observe them. In order to observe an error you need a very rigid system and regularity. When there’s something that breaks this pattern you know it’s an error.

In this performance each person was given a Stylophone Beatbox, a pair of headphones that played a metronome and sheet music to read from. I acted as a performer and conductor, although my only instructions were when to begin and end, to read the sheet from left to right and play to repeatedly.

The errors in this system occurred due to our individual interpretations of the instructions given to us and lack of understanding of the instrument. An instrument can take years to master and, although the level learning curve is claimed to be quite low, the Stylophone is still a difficult instrument to master, as demonstrated.

You can find each of these scores on

Song for Stylophone Beatbox – Song by Victor Smith for Rolf Harris
Song for Stylophone Beatbox – Hate Me Now
Song for Stylophone Beatbox – Amen Break

Lost in the Wood #1

For the last six months or so I’ve been a regular guest on the Lost in The Wood radio show. Myself and the shows host, Nancy Bennie, have been hard at work to bring you the the first issue of the Lost in the Wood zine!

You can also view individual pages on flickr.

The first issue features an interview with the awesome Stinky Wizzleteat and articles and illustrations from Birmingham’s finest.

Printed copies will become available soon, as will details of how to get involved with the next one. Keep an eye on the blog for more updates.


Chiptune Marching Band

On Saturday 24th October I was at Space Studios in London to attend the Chiptune Marching Band workshop. I was really excited to go to this as I haven’t had a chance to dedicate my time to a single project with my breadboard and Arduino board.

Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood) Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood) Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood)

After introductions we got down to making our noise making device. Essentially we were following instructions from a booklet, but more in depth explanations to how the different parts work were available if requested. My device had a light sensor which altered my sound, as shown below.

Once we finished our devices, which happened rather quickly, we took to the streets of Hackney to engage the masses in our noise!

Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood) Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood) Chiptune Marching Band (by hellocatfood)

There was a performance from pixelh8, Dave Giffiths (who I saw at OpenLab earlier this year) and others later on in the evening, but a slow train back home meant I had to miss it.

As usual this is exactly the sort of thing I’d like to see happening in Birmingham and the West Midlands. fizzPOP, which I run with help from Nikki and others, and 8Bit Lounge are going some way to filling this void and hopefully there’s some good news coming up in the next few days.

Gameboy Video

Now that I have the Gameboy Camera and Printer, LSDJ and will soon have the Transferer and 32M Cartridges I’m hoping to make something like this

One thing I also really like is this dance piece:

I would’ve like to have seen the dancers incorporate more erratic movement and even some sort of costumes (Princess Peach and Mario perhaps), but overall I think it shows that Gameboy Music isn’t just for the hobbyist

If You Go Down In The Woods Today

A followup to the last post. Here’s the blurb from the video caption:

Insectoid went to Earlswood and engaged in a silent, collaborative painting experiment.

We decided the basic plan beforehand, but no verbal communication took place during the 2.5 hours of painting.

The process of carrying back to the studio had an effect on some sections of the painting

Insectoid is now on, so get scrobbling!


I need to get more done on my vjing work. So far I’ve done very little of it, and even less djing. I’ve been messing around with Pure Data, Xaos and Processing in an attempt to get some live processed images, and I’m now taking a peek at Ben Neal‘s Phlumx software, but what I wonder is if I need to go look at more professional software…

Here’s a sample of what I’ve done. It was for a project at university to create a video about ‘Speed’ (created in Adobe Premier).