Visual & Auditory Adventures in Algorithms

by Joseph Wilk

[18/04/2018] Painting with Functions

I created a library ( to help explain functions through patterns in color. As a side effect this created a way of creating interesting patterns simply by composing functions. Instead of focusing on explaining functions I explored the patterns I could make.

(map (fn [e] (if (sequential? e) (partition-all 1 e) e)) (interleave (color/hues 21 25) (partition-all 2 (color/hues 12))))
(interleave (color/hues 21 25) (partition-all 1 (color/hues 6)))

[01/04/2018] Deforming Meshes in Unity3D

I've been exploring ways to deform meshes in 3D. The best way in the end was to use a terrain map to alter the mesh positions of a sphere. The terrain map was a blackwhite png where darkness maps to height. Effectively rendering a mountain range into a 3d mesh. Controlled by Emacs and SonicPi. Also using a focus blur for added effect.

[01/04/2018] ASCII Art in 3D graphics

Exploring bringing the text of live coding into the generated visuals of a performance. Created using Unity.


[24/03/2018] Origami Eyeball in Unity3D

An attempt to create an eye like shape with the edges/tentacles feeling like origami paper folding. Achieved through increasing light intensity, a cartoon edge like shader applied as a postFX and repeatedly resting the laws of physics with the edges/tentacles simulation.

[06/03/2018] Controlling Synths live with Emacs

Sending midi control data to a live running synth through Emacs. Emacs has a OSC port open which is sending messages to the synth.

[24/02/2018] Scratching samples with Emacs

Using the cursor position in emacs to control the playback position in a sample. A little like scratching a record.

[06/03/2018] Performance Generated Graphics

Snapshots of live generated visuals used in a performance. All the graphics are programmed in the GLSL programming language and that code is executed through OpenFrameworks and ShaderView.


[16/02/2018] Brains seeking meaning in human voices

For some unknown reason I'm slightly obsessed with Soprano samples. I've been playing around with the idea of the human ear seeking meaning in a repeated phrase that still has an element of a human voice. I'm using wavetable playback manipulation, playhead speed and some added FM synthesis on a single 4 second Soprano sample.

[17/11/2017] Organic sample based instrument

I've been thinking on some advice given by Deru. "Turn organic sounds into electronic and electronic into organic" Based on this I've been creating an instrument from two classical instruments sounds, a single 1 second sample of a Soprano singing a latin phrase and a single 1 second sample of a Violin. Added together with a lot of granular synthesis. Part of a new piece of music I'm working on.

[23/10/2017] Performance Generated Graphics

Snapshots of live generated visuals used in a performance. All the graphics are programmed in the GLSL programming language and that code is executed through OpenFrameworks and ShaderView.

Phasing Flower.glsl

[31/12/2016] Music for Machines

Looking into how machines hear music when trying to identify music. Evolving procedurally generated audio based on the mis-identification of the music. The more popular the artist the higher the weight of the score. (Full technical write up:

[20/03/2017] Watching someone code people watching code

Created as part of a live coded performance. I'm writing code as part of the performance overlaid over the visuals. The visuals I'm controlling are someone watching someone live code.

Watching Code 1
Watching Code 2

[20/03/2017] Post effects on GLSL shaders

I recently added into ShaderView ( Post processing filters. Effects like bloom, fisheye, mirroring, noise and grain effects. Two of my favourite examples generated live.

Mirror, Bloom and Grain 1
Mirror, Bloom and Grain 2

[23/10/2017] Method Missing Code Poem

Method missing, the method that does not exist is a magical and confusing concept. I wanted to draw attention to how counterintuitive this method is and the pain of many programmers trying to understand the behaviour of code using it.


[21/10/2016] Painting with Regular Expressions in Emacs

When searching text in Emacs, matching terms are highlighted. I wanted to explore creating visual patterns through writing regular expressions. I compressed a section of performance code and then in emacs created different searches.

Patterns in text

[30/09/2016] Live Coding Patterns with Emojis

In live coding percussive patterns its common to mark a hit with '1' or 'x' and a 'rest'/'miss' with '0' or '_'.

          kick_drum_pattern =  [1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0]
          if kick_drum_pattern == 1
            sample KICK_DRUM_SAMPLE
I wanted to expand the expressiveness of patterns with Emojis rather than text. To add an extra level of meaning for the audience and for my own mnemonics of mapping different types of percussive hits. Parameters like attack, release, velocity and sustain being different Emojis.

Flower patterns
Horse and Unicorn patterns
Animal patterns

[26/08/2016] Ascii Art in Code

Clojure supports a very flexible naming convention for namespaces and functions. I used this in a live performance to exploring using ASCII art to give a visual meaning to the containers of functions.

[02/10/2015] Animation with Emacs

Emacs is a editor used primarly by programmers thats heavily optimised to write and manipulate text. Here I take its text manipulation power and use it to create animations.

[02/10/2015] Viewing Sound data as ASCII animations in Emacs

Using the Sound Engine SuperCollider I'm sending messages to Emacs which contain the frequency. This is then rendering in a scrolling Ascii graph.

[11/08/2015] Production Metrics in 3D

Converting live metric data from SoundClouds production systems into a mesh in OpenFrameworks. The connection of mesh vertexes is slightly random which creates interesting shapes between graphs peaks and troughs.

Requests per second
Requests per second with noise

[11/08/2015] Beautiful Production Metrics

Telemetry generate by the data pipeline at SoundCloud. Graphs generated with

40 machines singing data 1
40 machines singing data 2
40 machines singing data 3
40 machines singing data 4

[31/08/2015] Distorting Text

In most performances when I live code visuals and music the controlling code is overlaid over the top of the visuals. I've been experimenting with how to bring the text into the visuals rather than just sitting on top of it. To do this I used OpenFrameworks I created meshes from black and white screen shots of text. Then adding noise to the text mesh creating interesting distortions. Making the text feel more organic and alive while still being readable.

Live Code
raise exception
Computational behaviour

[17/04/2015] Live Coding Cinema4D

Simple experiment controlling a Cinema4D scene from Overtone using OSC messages.

Flower without light rendering

[1/03/2015] Live coding Minecraft

Controlling the Minecraft world from a live REPL in Clojure. Full technical details:

Pig Algorave

[26/04/2014] OpenGL Silhouette

An experiment using a texture with transparent cutout text overlaid on top of a GLSL shader. Slight distortion on the edge of the text to better connect with the background texture.

RE cutout

[01/03/2014] Overtone Synths

The DarkSeaHorn and Fallout Synths I implemented in Overtone.

[01/01/2014] Piano generated by Recombinance using Bach Chorale 140

Exploring the book Computer Models of Music Creativity through creating generated music in Overtone and Clojure. Uses Bach Chorale 140 as a training source. Full details:

[02/12/2013] Brainwave Powered music

Controlling a synth using Brainwave signals and mapping brainwave activity to piano pitches. Full technical details:

[13/11/2013] Sonification of a live servers health status

Mointoring a live SoundCloud production service by listening to the health status mapped to piano pitches. Low notes are good, high are bad.