Network Music Festival – NMF x TOPLAP Berlin Algorave

A special Algorave to launch the brand new Toplap Berlin VR space in Mozilla Hubs.

An algorave is an event where people dance to music generated from algorithms, often using live coding techniques. Algoraves can include a range of styles, including a complex form of minimal techno, and the the movement has been described as a meeting point of hacker philosophy, geek culture, and clubbing. At an algorave, the computer musician may not be the main point of focus for the audience and instead, attention maybe centered on a screen that displays live coding, that is the process of writing source code, so the audience can not just dance or listen to the music generated by the source code but also to see the process of programming.

The performers at this event are:

Redes De Nadie | αℓõm | Codie | Caider | Aleksandr Yakunichev & Violetta Postnova | Atsushi Tadokoro | hellocatfood+mxwx+The Animalizer | IGnoto | RAW | Royal Laptop Squad | | Alo x digital selves

Performances at Network Music Festival

On Thursday 26th January I performed with Freecode at the Network Music Festival pre-festival party.

For this set at any one time there were two people doing audio and two doing video. We also had the theme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. To try and explain further:

Something old
Video: Antonio (hellocatfood) and Alan (laternist)
Audio: Leon (Chromatouch) and Jim (minuek)

Something new
Video: Chromatouch and minuek
Audio: hellocatfood and laternist

Something borrowed:
Video: hellocatfood and minuek
Audio: Chromatouch and laternist

Something blue:
Video: Chromatouch and laternist
Audio: hellocatfood and laternist

Working in this way I think gave us a bit more structure and allowed each person to shine in the spotlight for a bit. It also saw us mixing and matching styles a lot more. For example, myself and laternist create very abstract and noisy images and sound whereas Chromatouch and minuek create audio that’s more listenable and do similar things with visuals. Having two of these mixing created great results!

We now have a tumblr account where we’ll be posting all of our videos. Go visit it:

The following day I performed with BiLE. We performed two pieces at Network Music Festival: XYZ and Laptopera. The visuals for XYZ have evolved quite a bit since its first performance.

XYZ - Old visuals

Previously the visuals acted mostly as a display of the data being sent over the network. Without knowing what the data was it was hard to get any meaning from the visuals. Now, however, I feel it better represents the interactions between the players. Here it is being performed at Network Music Festival:

Please excuse the positioning of the camera. I also posted at work in progress video of those visuals in case you should want to get a better idea of what’s happening.

BiLE also premiered Laptopera, which you can watch and listen to on the BiLE YouTube channel

Freecode at Network Music Festival: Pre-festival Party

As well as performing in BiLE for Network Music etsival I’ll be performing in Freecode at the pre-festival party on 26th January at The Edge in Digbeth.

We’ll be performing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue… It’ll all become clearer on the night 😉 Also performing on that night will be Juneau Brothers and Lash Frenzy. Tickets are £5, check out the event page for more details.

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BiLE Business

The world of BiLE is a busy one recently! On January 3rd we were featured in an article in the Financial Times about Laptop Orchestra’s

BiLE in the Financial Times

Read the interview here

Thanks to Alex Newman for writing the article. The article also makes reference to Network Music Festival, which is taking place in from 27-29th January in various locations around Birmingham.

The festival will featrue performances, workshops and lectures from national and international laptop ensembles and performers including Benoît and the Mandelbrots – we both performed at Laptops Meet Musicians Festival in Venice last year – and BiLE


Local journalist Ross Cotton interviewed BiLE ahead of our performance next week:

With elements of both art and music within their sound, BiLE fuse together two creative outlets and present their experiments through performance.

“It’s very much a musical background that we all come from, and I think that translates into the approach that we take” says Iain.


“We’re more about exploring other avenues alongside the other things that we are doing. But the stuff that we’re doing in BiLE is definitely influencing my other compositions. Working with a group of composers with other ideas just opens your eyes to other avenues.”

“We are always trying to create interesting music”, says fellow member Chris.

“We’re not about technical fetishes or using technology for the sake of it, we are just using technology as a way of enabling us to do interesting and new things.

“The technology is much more of an enabling factor, rather than a necessity. It’s about new ways of expression, rather than genre-based roots”, he says.

Full interview is available here

BiLE will be performing XYZ and will be premiering Laptopera. In terms of visuals, for this performance I wanted to move away from using pre-recorded videos and instead use purely generative visuals. This required me to learn a lot about using particles in GEM – [part_head], [part_velocity] etc. Here’s a preview of the results for XYZ and Laptopera.

It still needs a bit of work, but it’s coming along nicely!

Tickets for Network Music Festival can be bought from the website and costs from £8 for day tickets to £25 for a weekend pass.

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