Behind the Screens: Rafaele Andrade
An interview with creative coder and composer Rafaele Andrade.
Rafaele Andrade is a livecoder and composer who uses Knurl, a hybrid reprogrammable cello.
In this interview we’d like to talk about her practices and tools, as well as work in the community and the way she copes with the radical and drastic changes in her practice resulting from the corona crisis.
What is your first encounter with live coding and what are sources of inspiration?
My contact with programming music started when I was sensing frustration and social disconnection in my career as a modern & traditional composer. When I was composing, conducting and playing cello in/with orchestras I noticed the lack of engagement in the public, the lack of connection between composers and daily issues. The classic music scene is and was completely another world in my country.
I moved to Leipzig (Germany) to continue my education and figure out the future of this career that I aimed for since I was young.
There I had my first classes of programming music. It was incredibly mind-blowing. This was actually a free subject at the Conservatory but it became my main interest. I was really excited by the possibility to compose music without the delimitations of space, time, networks and software structures. To compose in time not for another time with much more freedom that I used to have.
I became passionate to investigate a possible approach relating instrumentality and composition through coding practice. So I applied for an Erasmus exchange to Sonology. There I learned electronics and Sonology subjects applying gradually gadgets & algorithmic compositions into my main instrument (cello). I spent a lot of time producing 13 prototypes relating code, composition, performance and sustainability. All my ethical and political considerations and the engagement issues quoted before were gradually matching with my research.
I wanted so much to learn music, coding & making that I always had to do myself , that’s why I also love to code. The experience of learning through practice is really important to me.
How has live coding influenced your way of making things?
I felt even more connected to the experience of doing things on my own. But I also perceive its disadvantage of my difficulty delegating specific and complicated tasks to others. When we’re creating systems, typing enhances our dynamism to easily understand macro and micro structures without the delimitations of space. However, we definitely need to slow down when creating digitally, because we’re humans anyway and we need time to organize our thoughts.
In these times of lockdown, what can we learn from the live coding community in terms of their way of organisation?
I’m pretty sure digital communities and network systems are a great example of how agents and its groups can organize themselves dynamically to a new behavior of work and lifestyle, showing how remote interactions are based primarily in our self organization.
Did the isolation force you to make adjustments to your current practice, and can you elaborate on how these changes impact your work?
Yes, I started to reflect seriously on the audience of remote networks and the type of performance that I could offer. It is a different scenario and space, so it deals with different ways of entertainment. I started my collaboration with Germán because of that. I'm working with him into a web-based platform to explore interactions between my instrument and its audience (remote or local). Audiences will be able to control it and help the composition of an artwork.
Find more of Rafaele’s work here:
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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.