Ars Electronica Garden Utrecht

Rafa & Timo - "Hello, off-world!"
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A collaborative networked performance between Knurl, a hybrid reprogrammable cello played by Rafaele Maria Andrade, and Mercury, a minimal human-readable language for live coding algorithmic electronic music played by Timo Hoogland. During this experimental electronic set both performers will play their own instrument/environment, but have also “infected” each other with a small “computer-virus” that allows them to interfere in each other’s environment by manipulating code and parameters over the network. This interaction will take place through the use of OSC messages over a network.

The title is a reference to the famous “Hello, World!” message used when writing or learning a new program and have it become “alive” in your console by printing this message. The “off” refers to the world being turned off in many ways since the coronavirus outbreak, but also refers to another world, a different world online, that has grown rapidly.

In Mercury all elements of the language are designed around making code more accessible and less obfuscating for the audience. This motivation stretches down to the coding style itself which uses clear descriptive names for functions and a clear syntax. Furthermore the editor is restricted to 30 lines of code, keeping all code always visible. Knurl, a ‘cello’ with 16 strings, is a shift into exploring the potential of hybrid instruments (acoustic-electronic) to be enhanced through built-in electronic components, as well as the potential for music to be a shared endeavour between performers and its networks.