Live Coding with TidalCycles: the patterns of music

TidalCycles (or Tidal for short) is a language for live coding pattern. It allows you to make musical patterns with text, describing sequences and ways of transforming and combining them, exploring complex interactions between simple parts.

In this workshop, Alexandra Cardenas taught the basic functioning of TidalCycles, what Live Coding is and how think about music creation in a new way.  Alexandra showed us the practice of Live Coding and how to make performances where composition, improvisation and programming join to create music.

Workshop details

Date: Sunday 21st August 2016, 10:00-17:00
Venue: DINA, Cambridge St, Sheffield
Age of participants: 16+
Level: Beginner
Registration: Free, but booking essential, please register here.

We will have computers available for you to use, but if you have your own laptop then please bring it along. That way you can leave the workshop with your own machine all set up and ready to go.

It would also be helpful if you could bring some headphones – but again, don’t worry if that’s not possible.

We will be in touch closer to the time with information on any software you will need to install.

About Alexandra

Composer, programmer and improviser of music born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1976. She studied composition at the Universidad de los Andes where she also carried studies in mathematics and classical guitar. Her works have been played in diverse venues in America, Europe and Asia. In 2003 she obtained an Artistic Residency at the Centro Nacional de las Artes (CNA) in Mexico City. In 2010 she was part of the program Prácticas de Vuelo at the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS). In 2011 she was granted an Artistic Residency at the Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan, where she wrote a piece for Nanae Yoshimura (koto), Suzuky Toshiya (flute) and live electronics.

Using open source software like SuperCollider and TidalCycles, her work is focused on the exploration of the musicality of code and the algorithmic behaviour of music. An important part of this exploration consists of the practice of live coding. Having an intense activity as teacher and performer of live coding, Alexandra is among the pioneers of live coding in electroacoustic music and part of the forefront of the Algorave scene. Currently she lives in Berlin, Germany, and is doing her masters in Sound Studies at the Berlin University of the Arts.


This event is organised by Lucy Cheesman and Amy Beeston. For any additional information on this workshop or any other of our Catalyst: Festival of Creativity events, please contact us on