Behind the Screens: narcode

An interview with Felipe Ignacio Noriega (narcode), a digital artist who creates theatrical music with code.

Felipe Ignacio Noriega, better known as narcode, is a digital artist who uses his coding to create theatrical music. His art is deeply rooted in collaboration, code and humor.

In this interview we’d like to talk about his practices and tools, as well as work in the community and the way he copes with the radical and drastic changes in his practice resulting from the corona crisis.

What is your first encounter with live coding and what are sources of inspiration?

My first encounter was back when I was a student at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. It was around 2012–2013. Anne Veinberg on piano, Anna Stegman on recorders and me on laptop with a blank slate SuperCollider were meeting weekly to improvise and explore the musical potential of this unusual setting for Classical Music. I was live coding without the notion that it was called live coding. 2 years after, the term came into my life and I continued live coding with Anne Veinberg under the duo name Off<>zz. We came to know the international community by performing at the first International Conference on Live Coding in 2015 in Leeds.

I get inspired by the people I collaborate with and the constant challenge of finding personality and authenticity in algorithms. Laughter also fuels and guides most of my intuition while live coding. If I can incite a laughter or two in an expectator while coding, then I know that there is a real exchange between us and this kind of contact and energetic exchange is an endless resource of inspiration.

Narcode performing live

Which platform do you use and why?

I use SuperCollider for my solo live coding and most of the collaborative projects. It is a flexible programming language, specially targeted at music and music analysis, and that gives me the tools to build other tools upon it. For the Codeklavier (Live Coding by playing the piano) I use Python 3.

Codeklavier (Live Coding by playing the piano) in Python 3

How has live coding influenced your way of making things?

Live coding has mainly developed my improvisatory skills. Other aspects of my work have not been that much influenced because coding and programming have been a part of my work for many many years now.

Narcode after performing live

In these times of lockdown, what can we learn from the live coding community in terms of their way of organisation?

We can learn how to grow a community internationally, and how to be in contact with each other based on respect, openness and inclusivity.

Narcode performing live in collaboration

Did the isolation force you to make adjustments to your current practice, and can you elaborate on how these changes impact your work?

The isolation forced me stop collaborations in person. However, current networking tools such as video conferences, network MIDI, and OSC servers have aided in keeping collaborations alive. The adjustments have been minimum in terms of tools being used. The main impact is seeing and talking to my collaborators through a computer screen and sending data over the internet instead of through cables.

Find the code on GitHub.

Find more of Felipe’s work here:

Website Codeklavier websiteTwitter

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This article is part of the 10 Minute Livecoding Challenge by Creative Coding Utrecht and Netherlands Coding Live — a series of events where digital artists and live coders create a piece in ten minutes.

The 10 Minute Live Coding Challenge is sponsored by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.

Behind The Screens

Behind The Screens is a series of 10-Minute Livecoding performances by live coders from all over the world. In every episode, a coder is challenged to perform in 10 minutes. In this publication, you will find every coder’s personal interview. - By Creative Coding Utrecht

Anne-Linde Munsterman

Written by

// Freelancer in creative communication, media & design. // Editor for The Aesthetics of Creative Coding by Creative Coding Utrecht.

Behind The Screens

Behind The Screens is a series of 10-Minute Livecoding performances by live coders from all over the world. In every episode, a coder is challenged to perform in 10 minutes. In this publication, you will find every coder’s personal interview. - By Creative Coding Utrecht