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Tidal Profile - cleary (Bernard Gray)

Tidal CyclistBernard Gray
Time with Tidal3 yrs
Contributor since2017
Other LiveCoding envEstuary, Punctual, Hydra, ORCA
Music available onlineSoundCloud
Code onlineGitHub
Other music/audio swUbuntu Studio/Ardour/Carla/Vital/mi-ugens

Tidal Contributions

How do you contribute to Tidal Cycles? What have you worked on?

I think I've had a go at just about everything:

  • I developed and maintain a Linux installer in Ansible
  • I've added a few simple patches to/nutted out ideas for tidal itself, particularly around the chords module
  • I've written documentation
  • I often play in, and have helped organise some of the Solstice Marathon Livestreams
  • I am active and support others on the forums and the discord support channels
  • For the last 2 years I've been hosting a weekly collaborative (mostly tidal) livecoding session called WeekendJam for anyone to come along and have a jam with me
  • I've written and run tidal-based workshops, online and in person to try and network/raise the profile of the livecoding scene in Australia

What motivates you to be a Tidal contributor?

  • The community is lovely, they give/have given me a lot and I like to return that where I can. The project allows for such vast and varied possibilities in learning and creation, and that's what keeps me interested. The focus on inclusivity, sharing and generally "anti-gatekeeping" is a huge drawcard for me too.
  • I particularly enjoy the WeekendJams - I get to meet new people, share inspirations with all the different ideas all mashed together, learn, and just generally have a great time. I've made some great friends through jams.


(photo: Jason Richardson)

What do you like about livecoding in Tidal?

  • It's concise, it's (fairly) self-explanatory, and it's very easy to be both creatively specific and random as required.

How do you approach your livecoding sessions?

  • For solo performances, I prepare something - usually a "scaffolded" set of code which allows for creative path choosing during the set.
  • For the WeekendJam sessions, I never prepare anything beyond the occasional group idea for exploration (which is broached 5 mins before start time).

What functions and coding approaches do you like to use?

  • I tend to make a point to separate my rhythmic and harmonic elements for easy reuse (struct and n/note) - which is a hangover from the collaborative nature of the WeekendJam sessions. I keep the code for most sets I play on Github. An example of this is from one of my patternuary pieces (full code, video):
  $ struct "t(6,8,<0 1>)"
$ n "<a3!2 f4!2 e3!2>"
# s "braids"

Doing it in this way makes it very easy to take the rhythmic structure and apply it for percussion (for example), or take the notes and use them as a foundation for a chord arpeggio sequence in another orbit. If you are collaborating, it's very easy and obvious for others to borrow and build off too.

Do you use Tidal with other tools / environments?

  • I've done some external software synth control (Vital/Yoshimi), I also have a Midi Fighter Twister controller which sometimes gets a run. I tend to keep it pretty vanilla though, particularly since doing the workshop tours last year. Also, estuary of course.


Tell us about your livecoding music. What musical genre(s) or style(s) describe it best?

How has your music evolved since you have been livecoding?

  • Yeah, a lot - I played "traditional" instruments before I started. The biggest evolution has involved trying to break out of all the subconscious composer lockin that comes with that (fixed tempos, chords limited by number of fingers/how far they can stretch, increasing the number of simultaneous voices). It's moved from what I could do on a guitar/bass/piano with 10 fingers and a looper to beyond orchestral possibilities (and exposed my lack of compositional knowledge in that area!).

What samples or instruments do you like to work with?

What projects are you currently working on / planning? What's next?

  • I'd like to develop the domain into a tool for organisation/promotion of Australian livecoding events/personalities, that one is going to take more time than I currently have available, so it's on the backburner for now (unless anyone wants to give me hand!)
  • To try and claw back a little time, I'm looking at sharing the WeekendJam load a little, and hopefully moving it into a general stream/yt account so that multiple organisers can have control depending on availability.
  • I'd also like to finish and release some music, just to learn a bit more about the whole process chain - that's a hope item for this year :)


Just a big thank you for all the people I've chatted to/jammed with/learned from over the years, you've all been a huge inspiration, and I'm very glad to have been able to share my livecoding journey with you.

(photo: Jason Richardson)