As someone that is quite new to the world of technology - my previous experience being limited to rebooting a computer - I find myself on the phone a lot: researching the engineering scene in London, speaking to people in the thick of it to learn from them what it is they do, and asking about their workplace and the tech they work with.
An example. Recently I was working on a Junior Engineering campaign, on the phone to a recent graduate, and amid our discussion about her next career move and delving into her skillset, she dropped the word ‘Algorave’. As a newb to engineering jargon, I mentally added this to my growing list of questions about engineering – maybe it was a new framework, language or tool on the market.
No qualms in asking, right? “…So, where have you come across Algorave in your work to date? How does it fit in to what you’re looking for?”
Momentary humiliation… it turns out Algorave is Algorithmic Rave, and it’s basically what it says on the tin… a rave where musicians can compose and work live with their music as algorithms. Now this is a passion I could REALLY relate to and was excited to do some more research.
Since this newfound discovery, I’ve been chatting to applicants about it and finding it’s a fantastic way for me to connect with people. Although the concept of Algorave isn’t new (it's been around for about five years now), it’s still gaining loads of ground here in the UK and globally. The best way someone described it to me was as a ‘devolution’ as it strips back dance music to its purest electronic core, allowing for more creative freedom than a DJ at a turntable remixing pre-recorded audio.
I love the idea. Instead of DJs lining up songs and beats to play from a track list, the Algo DJ will create live sounds and visuals for people to dance to through algorithms - a small and seemingly simplistic change in a single line of text can completely transform the sound emitting from the speakers and the experience of every listener.
The sounds you will hear at an Algorave are like those we know and love from a typical rave: futuristic, alienist, fast, up-beat tempo and heavy bass, making it impossible to stand still. In addition, the screen displays the algorithms as well as wicked visuals for the party goers to get lost in.
Uncovering a new passion is exciting and I’m now learning about the different software packages DJs use to create the sounds and visuals they include; Sonic Pi, puredata and ixi lang to name a few.
What I love is that while Algorave is about this interesting way of creating live music, it’s more about the people dancing. The DJ will change and alter the ambience based on the ravers’ reactions to the algorithms they’re creating. It is a fun and innovative way of combining music, technology and people.
You don’t have to be a developer to enjoy the Algorave scene, as it is about tech and music. Bringing together people from many different backgrounds. Algorave is also inspiring, the DJs ability to read a room, change and create a vibe through algorithms alone is incredible – see it for yourself.
As I mentioned before I’m new to the world of technology, and Algorave has given me the perfect opportunity to mix my work with pleasure. Allowing me to meet with like-minded people.
I’ve already got tickets to the event in Sheffield next month, a group of us are going, and who knows, might even meet some budding applicants there too! If it sounds like your thing, I’d love to see you there so check it out.