The results are in for the Sonic Pi Competition!
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!
All brilliant. Still humming equinox.
Raspberry Pi Staff Liz Upton
I’m not on the judging panel, so I can say without fear of prejudicing the issue that it was my favourite too! But they’re all great; we had some really high-quality entries.
Carrie Anne Philbin — post author
Our designer Sam heard it once and pitched to me the idea of “Daniel the Asteroid” animation. In fact I caught him humming Equinox in the kitchen the other day.
I like the drama of Alien Chase.
I’m not much of a musician, but I’ve always thought it would be useful to be able to create my own background music (for use on YouTube videos or game music). Before it wasn’t really an option for a non musician like myself.
These show how you can create some amazing music and learn coding at the same time which is wonderful. I’ve signed up my family to the Sonic Pi session at the Birthday Party so I’m hoping we can learn the art of coding music as well.
Well done to all those that entered the competition.
Not only are the compositions really neat, but the illustrations and stories are right up there with those of the literary and artistic greats. The fact that they had to develop code to create the wonderful sonic seasonings is icing, sprinkles, and cherries on the ice cream cake!
I have to agree that “Equinox” needs to be submitted to the Grammy Awards committee for the Best Performance by a New Artist and Best Composer categories. It’s quite the hummable meme, that little melody, and now I can’t stop, either! Wouldn’t it be great to have the composers/performers, the entire Foundation, Dr. Sam, and Sony and distributor reps all rushing Kanye West on the stage to accept :D
I am not that good at coding in sonic pi but I have been able to write the code for the original super mario bros. theme song :D
I have just had the privelege of listening to the Sonic Pi Top Ten, and was left spellbound! Thank you everyone.
I hope someone is sending these in to BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tp52)! They seem to be the home of new, experimental and electronic music on the BBC – and these seem to tick all the boxes.
I was just thinking that they would fit in well on the Freak Zone on 6music…
Planet Pi : Awesome, great composition for such a young primary school child, reminded me of Stockhausen , Kraftwerk etc. Well done