Sam Aaron

Sonic Pi creator, Researcher @ University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory

Sam Aaron is a live coder, educator and researcher. He was the lead developer of Overtone and Quil – Clojure-based projects for the expression of sound and image. More recently he has created Sonic Pi – a live programming environment for creating music from code with a focus on education. By day he’s a researcher within the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, by night he can be found coding beats in nightclubs.

Upcoming conferences:

Sam Aaron
Code Mesh LDN
Tutorial/ 06 Nov 2019
09.00 - 17.00

Introduction to live coding music with Sonic Pi

Live Coding systems encourage us to think extremely differently about programming languages and take ideas such as those found in reactive programming to the next level. For example, in addition to considering standard requirements such as reliability, efficiency and correctness we are also forced to deal with issues such as hotswapping, concurrency, determinism and time.

What is it like to think fluently with such concepts?

How might these ideas apply and benefit your development practices?

The object of this highly interactive workshop is not to just cover these questions but give you your own initial experiences to draw from. Together, we'll learn how to work with all these important concepts using Sonic Pi - whilst having a lot of productive fun.

Together we'll learn the basics of live coding through time using music as our guiding metaphor. However, we'll continually explore which domains other than music where live interaction and manipulation of running processes is both relevant and important.


Course contents

  • liveness
  • concurrency
  • coordination
  • determinism
  • time
  • hotswapping code



To get hands-on experience of the basics of live coding and concurrency whilst also learning how to make crazy sounds and beats.



Please come along with some headphones and a laptop with Sonic Pi pre-installed. You can get Sonic Pi from here.