To celebrate the launch of Sonic Pi 2 we held the inaugural Sonic Pi competition. We were looking for some of the best space-themed music, coded with Sonic Pi v2.0 on a Raspberry Pi by school children in the UK aged between 7-16 years – and we were not disappointed.
After a month of judging, Dr Sam Aaron, creator of Sonic Pi, and the Foundation gang have whittled all the entries down to just ten finalists. We will be announcing the overall competition winner at the Raspberry Pi birthday celebrations at the end of February.
Here are Sam’s thoughts on the competition:
Greetings Live Coders! Let’s gather round to discuss the results of the Sonic Pi competition. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to talking about for a long time. You see, I wrote Sonic Pi to give people the tools to make music they otherwise may never have made. It may sound crazy, but had a dream that once Sonic Pi was in the hands of others, especially children, music I couldn’t even dream about would be created using it. If you look back into the history of music you’ll see an interesting pattern – time and time again new genres of music explode out of people fearlessly experimenting with new technology. It was therefore a wonderful experience for me to listen to every one of the entries and repeatedly hear a fearless experimentation with code as a new technology for music. Thank-you!
This year’s competition was all about space, and it was fantastic to hear such a broad range of interpretations of the theme. Through the music, I was taken on a range of exciting journeys – drifting through galaxies, exploring the moon, escaping space battles and hearing sounds which can only be explained as alien.
Another aspect of the competition was the structure and readability of the code. Again, I was amazed by how much of Sonic Pi’s functionality was being used across all age ranges. Some people think it’s crazy to teach threads at school level, but these compositions show how not only has the concept been understood, but used in interesting ways. It was lovely to see so many of the entries display a real care for how the code was laid out and organised. Many were at a the standard of a professional programmer!
Of course, every competition needs winners, and we’ll get to those in a moment. However, before we do, I’d like to express my deepest thanks for everyone that entered. Each one of your entries made me smile. Thank-you so much, and please keep on coding!
Drum roll please…
Here are our 10 finalists (including cover art, audio, description and code)! If you would rather listen to the compositions then we’ve created this soundcloud album. Enjoy!