Hi everyone! I would like to know if some of you ever thought about a topic that I found important for preserving and documenting live-coded performances.
I am currently writing an academic paper about the relation between live-coders and their algorithmic texts (the code of the performance or the source code of their musical system basically). I try to understand how live-coders perceive the text as a tool for thinking, sharing, communicating, or as an opening to an original mode of musical expression. I'm also trying to link some of these points to the old-school philosophy of Unix concerning plain-text or to an attitude that is often found in open-source / hacker-maker communities throughout the internet.
Live-coding is most often about manipulating plain-text; different iterative states of the same text buffer that goes through different transformations as long as the musician is performing. That's one of the most intriguing paradoxes about live-coding as a musical notation: it's a notation that does not last and that is often deleted once the performance ends. Of course, that's not entirely true:
- one can record stuff (live-coding captation as video archive).
- one can save different files at different cues during the performance.
- more complex systems? (state system using Git and other tools like Emacs).
What are your strategies for saving text-files or improvisations that are destined to be transformed, altered, blended, and so on ?
EDIT: oh, and what about keeping track of improvisations involving external instruments, complex audio files, dependancies, etc.. ?