From Iceland — Why Not? Afhverju Ekki brings the live coding scene to Reykjavík

Why Not? Afhverju Ekki brings the live coding scene to Reykjavík

Published June 3, 2024

Why Not? Afhverju Ekki brings the live coding scene to Reykjavík
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Afhverju Ekki brings the live coding scene to Reykjavík

Naming your event “2024’s Biggest Thursday” is gutsy. But in this case, it’s not without reason. On Thursday, June 6, Afhverju Ekki (“Why Not”) is hosting a night of live coding at RADAR.

Mesmerising and innovative, live coding refers to a genre of performance — specifically a type of DJ set in this case — in which an artist writes, edits and executes code onstage. Usually, the code is projected onto them or a backdrop while it warps the performance’s sound or visuals.

I can say that you will either witness this show or never stop hearing about it from your friends who did.

I asked c_robo_, one artist on the bill, about their gravitation towards this undeniably unique method of performance. “I was enamoured with the idea of an all-in-one performance system, with integrated visuals and the like, that I could control from my laptop,” they tell me. Another artist, DJ_Dave, noted being “drawn to the transparency between performer and audience.”

This is the first event hosted by Afhverju Ekki – The Absolutely Everything Studio, and its first move towards the surface with an “anticipated birth later this year,” according to founder, designer and technologist musician Jack Armitage. He describes Afhverju Ekki as an “unbounded laboratory ecosystem and a garden for optimistic ambitions.”

U.K. born and Iceland-based Jack, known under musical moniker Lil Data, is a firmly established musician in his own right thanks to previous releases with the legendary label PC Music and his ongoing work at the University of Iceland’s Intelligent Instruments Lab.

Sharing the stage

Four elite live coders are on their way from the U.S. to perform at this event. DJ_Dave, who helped plan the event with Lil Data, joins c_robo_, Dadabots and Cabibbo. Icelanders on the bill include Dagur Kristinn of post-dreifing and projects DBG, DJ Ræna Banka, Ávaxtakarfa Þjöppun, singer/producer Ólöf Rún, and genre-bending musician Smjörvi — whose album svo heilagt!! was nominated in the “You Should Have Heard This” category at the Reykjavík Grapevine’s 2024 Music Award.

“If you ever thought computer music was too boring, too straight, not danceable, and overall a tame, elitist pursuit — we agree and are fixing it.

So, if you haven’t heard it, now’s your chance. “Seeing what Smjörvi has been cooking up, I can say that you will either witness this show or never stop hearing about it from your friends who did,” says Jack.

You give it a go!

2024’s Biggest Thursday is hosted in tandem with the International Conference on Live Coding (ICLC), happening this year in Shanghai, China. While the ICLC regularly hosts a series of international satellite events, this is the first of its kind in Iceland.

Outside the main event, there will be two free, beginner-friendly workshops on live coding at the Reykjavík City Library Music Makerspace, hosted by Lil Data and Ólöf Rún — one is open to all and one is exclusively for women and non-binary people. With the goal being to teach the skills needed to fully launch a live coding scene here in Reykjavík, workshop participants will have the chance to test their new skills in the RADAR basement while the main event is happening.

“If you ever thought computer music was too boring, too straight, not danceable and an overall tame, elitist pursuit — we agree and are fixing it,” Jack concludes. “Come on through for a taste of what computers can actually do in the hands of the right people. Why not?”

2024’s Biggest Thursday is happening June 6 at RADAR. Check ticket availability and secure your passes at midix.is. Register for the June 5 and June 6 live coding workshops at borgarbokasafn.is/en.

 

 

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