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Nonverbal Communication in Ensemble Live Coding Performance

From The New Art Fest '16 © Patrícia Manhão // PhotographyProject aims:

Live coding is an emerging form of musical practice where performers generate music through the construction and reconstruction of algorithms using programming languages while projecting their screens for the audience to see

It has has been around since the turn of the millennium and is still well within its infancy. It is a relatively unexplored area of research and crosses the disciplines of music and computer science, and their many sub-disciplines.

As discussed by Burland & McLean (2016) there is some consensus that there is a need “for the stagecraft of live coding performances to be improved” and this project will investigate new methods of collaboration for Live Coders with the aim of enhancing communication between both performers and the audience. 

As a common topic in music research; expressiveness is thought to come from a variety of sources such as body movement, expressive micro-timing, and the manipulation of timbre. Through a series of practice-based projects I will aim to examine expressivity in the context of collaborative concert programming, explore embodiment in Live Coding, and challenge the traditional interpretation of an ensemble.

This research is being conducted in conjunction with researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and York and aims to address an overall network goal, exploring expressive non-verbal communication in ensemble performance, from a multitude of perspectives and examine new ways for performers and composers alike to think about ensemble performance.


Burland, K., & McLean, A. (2016). Understanding live coding events. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 12 (2), 139–151.

Photo taken by Patrícia Manhão at The New Art Fest'16, Lisbon

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