live coding a cajón 2018

drumming binary codes

In this work serial binary rhythms were drummed on a Peruvian cajón. These rhythmic patterns were converted into ASCII characters using the rhythm translator circuit. The ASCII characters were then used to trigger loops in Ableton Live.The audience witnessed both the sound of the percussive programming and the computers responses. A visual interpretation of the rhythms and letters being coded were provided by a camera displaying a live feed of the rhythm to data translator circuit.

Presentation history
Livecode Festival 2, Sheffield, September 2018 Rogue Artist Studios, Manchester, September 2018 Sonic Interactions, Capstone Theatre, Liverpool, October 2018

background
After exploring using binary patterns to write text in How we communicate I considered how these patterns could be used to perform live computer music. I wanted to use a simple instrument percussive instrument so decided on a Peruvian cajón. I had been inspired by a technique of playing the cajón called mano a mano (hand to hand) that had been taught to me by Ruven Ruppik in Spain. Here the hands play alternate ghost notes (practically silent) left, right, left, right, etc and notes are accented to create rhythms. This simple technique allows one to both keep a steady rhythm and keep track of where you are in the cycle.

Performance Livecode Festival, Sheffield, 2018