⏳ 06.11.2023

Live-coding, Piano & Trumpet. 42Berlin comes to life in a new way

It is not everyday that we can marvel at live & multi-disciplinary music before our very eyes. Well, a couple of weeks ago, on the #42Berlin campus, we got the chance to do just that.  

 It is no secret that 42 Berlin strives to be more than just a software engineering school. We strive to inspire, create a space that allows our students to dream big, and do as much as possible to see our community grow in diverse and creative ways. One way by which we have implemented this mission is by showing the ways in which tech can merge with the creative world, particularly the realm of music. Music is a vessel of connection the world over, and it does not exclude software engineering.

On Thursday 19th October, the dynamic trio of Bechir Mrad, Khalid Hanafia & Nils Haack brought a brand new energy to our #LearningSpaceship in the form of a multidisciplinary musical performance. Live-coded algorithmic beats and visuals, synths, an electronic keyboard and a trumpet made up this musical tapestry; a feast for both the ears and the eyes.

With this being our first time hosting instrumental music, alongside live-code, a very special atmosphere was created on campus. Within the first 2 minutes of the music beginning, the audience was moved to dance as we collectively revelled in the beauty of the music and tech worlds colliding.  

We sat down with live-coder and co-founder of the Actitude collective, Bechir Mrad to talk about his art form. Born and raised in Tunis, he is fuelled by an insatiable curiosity for sound exploration and a deep-rooted love for music.

live-coding Bechir Mrad


How did you find your way into the field of live-coding? 

You know, my journey into live-coding was a bit of an unexpected mashup. I’m a DJ and a music producer, so music has always been my passion. But I also work as a software engineer, and that’s where things got interesting. One day, it hit me: why not combine my love for music with my coding skills? So, I decided to dive into live-coding music. It’s like mixing two of my favourite flavors and creating a whole new dish! 

Now, the transition wasn’t a walk in the park, but it felt like a natural evolution. With live-coding, I could whip up melodies and beats on the spot, all by typing lines of code. It’s like composing music in real-time! And the visual effects I could add; it’s like painting the stage with sound and color. Who would’ve thought that coding could be so artistic and musical? Live-coding isn’t just a creative outlet, it’s a bridge between two of my biggest passions, and I get to share that excitement with an audience. It’s all about pushing boundaries, exploring the unknown, and making some unique sounds along the way. And I’m enjoying every single minute of it.

Your performance truly merged art and tech – what are your thoughts on the crossover between these two fields?

The importance of aligning art and tech is evident in this performance. It’s like marrying tradition with innovation; combining the elegance of classical instruments like the piano and trumpet with the real-time creativity of live coding. The result was a dynamic art form that wouldn’t have been possible without this alignment. The performance showed that the crossover between art and tech isn’t just important, it’s essential in our modern age. It opens doors to new forms of expression. The real-time interaction between the musicians and the live coding added an element of excitement, making the experience even more immersive. Moreover, it made art more accessible and relatable. It bridged the gap between the familiar and the unfamiliar, ensuring that the audience could connect with the performance on a personal level.

So, to answer your question, there is undoubtedly immense importance in aligning art and tech. It enriches the cultural landscape, pushes the boundaries of creativity, and makes us think about the way we, as humans, connect with technology. It’s a crossover that I believe holds great promise for the future of artistic expression.

What advice would you give to those who are looking to start live-coding, or use their coding skills for a creative output?

If you want to dive into live-coding or use your coding skills for creative use, here’s the deal: be daring and have fun experimenting! Live-coding is like a musical jam session where mistakes are just another note. It’s all about creating on the fly, and that means you’ll hit some unexpected notes, but those off-notes can lead to fantastic surprises. You don’t need to be a coding whiz to start; just check out the tools and platforms for live-coding. Try out different coding languages and music software until you find what suits your creative vibe. Connect with other artists, jam together, and check out live shows to feel the creative buzz. The great thing is there’s no one “right” way to do it, it’s all about making your own groove and pushing your creative limits.


Check out our next creative event, where a Vogue performance and workshop will light up our campus, happening on Thursday 23rd November, RSVP for free here

Do you want to use our space to showcase your art? Reach out to mia@42berlin.de & let’s get brainstorming.

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