Ideas for releasing live code music

I want to release some music but I want to release it a format that works best for live coding

I'm not sure what the discussion here on songwriting is but I feel that the way I live code lends itself to either a dozen short tracks or a couple 15-20 minute performances.

The single-to-album format doesn't really work for streaming music royalties (unless you're releasing to a physical medium) From what I understand the 18-track album does better for playlisting etc.

I might be a ways from releasing an interactive, game-like format unless one were to build something from scratch (which unfortunately I don't have the dev skills to pull off yet).

Live coding is such a frontier of art/tech that I feel the format of release should mirror the novelty of the performance.

My thought is that if we came of with a custom format for release, it might even become a standard for our community. What you y'all think?


I think cutting the audio exactly and precisely in different but continuous tracks would be a good way. Some of my favourite albums use this idea of seamless transition into the next track or just straight up sectioning a performance into different tracks. Sol Niger Within for example, or some of the Ryoji Ikeda stuff. I think this fits the music streaming platforms algorithms well and also let's the listener select their favourite parts for playlists etc. Even if it is a bit burdensome to cut into pieces a performance/piece that we see as a whole.


thanks for this thread! yes, this is something i think about pretty often actually. obviously it's very easy to generate an abundance of ideas in tidal so the prospect of creating an 18-track album does not seem particularly challenging (to me, at least). the aspect of seamlessness is also appealing to me but having one "cut-up-able" track sounds like a lot of work on the user's part. another thing i think about quite a bit with regard to algorithmic composition is trying not to be too precious about a given recording...ideally it should resemble an actual live concert document, warts and all, kind of like old jazz records, maybe with a few "alternate takes" too. this, admittedly is quite hard for me to achieve personally, as i'm a bit of a perfectionist. something else that occurred to me over the weekend (i played a live gig) is that, although the music i produce in the studio generally obscures any samples i may be using, i tend to use more overt samples when playing in front of people so they have something recognizable to hold onto. the problem with this, obviously, with all the content regulations used by youtube and soundcloud, etc., i could never officially release any of my live gigs because the bots would immediately take it down. there used to be a loophole in the recording industry that you could cover a song without licensing it as long as it as live. i wonder if this presents a unique legal opportunity for live coders in the fact that all our music is essentially a live recording.


I think all of these things are worth consideration.

Another thing I thought of is a "native" inclusion of video. I still like the manifesto of TOPLAP, where we're asked to show our screens. Video art can also be included with that, as many live streams and youtube videos demonstrate. This comes with its limitations, since we don't always have access to video, and not everyone watches video.

This last thought is a little more abstract and doesn't apply to Tidalcycles, but I'm curious now about the ability to release a executable, hackable musical program that plays itself like a player piano. You 'see' the things trigger over time as the piece progresses. I feel this could bring greater appreciation to the form.


I recall @yaxu working on an album release project that involved a Pi Zero ("Spicule"?) - having difficulty finding much info on it though, there was a crowdfunding campaign and stuff...

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In the italian toplap node there was an idea from @Daniele trotting around to do something like that with a microcontroller and a little screen, but the thing went to a dead end...

Oh yeah, I remember that article about it: Musician Releases Album as a Live Coding Device on a Raspberry Pi Zero | by Hackster Staff | Medium

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Yeah thinking about the further is important and interesting to ponder, with consideration of the afterlife of the release.

I'm really inspired by the MOD file format(s) of trackers which were popular way to share music a few decades ago. The idea was that the file includes the samples and the composition.

I remember already then being disappointed about the future with audio formats such as MP3 eating up music distribution, and removing, again, the audience from the music. So sad! Later some netlabels life Thinner and Autoplate, while releasing in audio formats also included sometimes the Traktor projects, a gesture which felt futuristic and retrofuturistic at the same time.

For me livecoding is livecoding, but to think about the music format I've entertainment an idea of a git repo with a sequence of commits which sketch out some milestones through the journey of the piece.


For the Atom plugin there's which can record and play back sessions, and similar things are possible with the emacs and vim plugins. Combine that with an archive of any custom samples used and you get pretty close to a MOD file.


Uh that's pretty nice! Is it possible to edit the recorded session afterwards to tweak it up a little bit?