August 2011
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Day August 1, 2011

Moving and Making


We recently participated in a workshop organised by the R-Research arm of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, teaching the Choreographic Language Agent software to the company. We are now back in software maintenance mode, applying some fixes and enhancements suggested by sessions with the company dancers. Our next period of residence with the company is at Dartington College at the end of August.

Clojure in MaxMSP


One of the things moving up my to-do list is an environment for hosting the Clojure language inside MaxMSP. Clojure is hosted on the Java JVM, just like the languages for my other MaxMSP hosting projects, Python and Groovy, although the Clojure interpreter is rather an odd beast compared to the other two. Specifically, it’s not clear to me (yet) exactly what it means to build a Max patcher with several Clojure objects inside it, and one of the strengths of Clojure is its ability to deal cleanly with concurrency and interaction between decoupled computations, so there should only really be “one” Clojure environment which everything somehow shares and uses for communication.

That aside, Clojure is good at Java interoperability, and has a built-in compiler which generates real class files for synthesised Java classes matching interfaces or extending existing classes, so getting a Clojure program into MaxMSP is just a case of configuring this machinery. (The Leiningen build tool does most of the work.)

So, proof of concept: a simple stopwatch for MaxMSP in Clojure. It’s quite stateful, and doesn’t do much with data structures or higher-order functions, so it’s a feeble example of Clojure’s power and not a very convincing use case, but it gets the ball rolling.