Introduction to SuperCollider

SuperCollider is an interpreted music environment developed by James McCartney in 1996. It was open-sourced in 2002 when McCartney joined Apple. Since then, SuperCollider has been adopted by a growing community of musicians-developers.

In April 2012, Queen Mary University joined forces with Goldsmiths and City Universities to organise a London symposium. The event featured artistic installations, seminars, talks, concerts and even a dubstep remix competition, with a coverage from the BBC.

Shelly Knotts and Les Hutchins gave us an overview of their work with SuperCollider. They  share musical data through the network and perform with the Birmingham Laptop Ensemble (BiLE). This is one of the very interesting advantage of SuperCollider, its client/server architecture facilitates collaboration and remote jamming. Musicians send each other data and create music locally instead of sending audio signal to the network. SuperCollider is so lightweight that Dan Stowell et al. made an album using 140-characters Tweets in form of SuperCollider instructions (sc140)!

A very interesting night indeed, with pizza and Martin’s warm Stout.

Here is what a SuperCollider environment looks like:

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