Castbot (2016-2022)



Castbot is an ongoing work that generates algorithmic fixed media works on a daily basis and distributes them in the form of a podcast. I was driven to begin working on this piece after conversations around accessibility in concert music. A podcast strikes me as the the most universally accessible audio medium humankind has come up with: they are generally free and can be downloaded from nearly anywhere on the planet. Anyone can subscribe to Castbot and get new episodes from iTunes directory, Google Play, or directly from the RSS feed.

Note: As of April 2022, Castbot is on an indefinite hiatus, as the Raspberry Pi  computer on which it ran for many years died, and due to supply-chain issues, replacements are not readily available. I hope to revive this project at some point in the future with some new features, but for now, it is on hold. Archives remain available, but no new episodes will be generated. 

At regular intervals, Castbot will select a small handful of conditions to start a system, which will then play out to an end state. Currently, it generates around 20 to 100 automata which drift gradually back and forth in the stereo field. Each time they cross the center point, they change pitch within a defined scale. The piece ends when all the automata have drifted off the “edge” of the environment.

Technical nerdery:

Though the piece was originally built using the ChucK programming language, I have since recreated it using SuperCollider. The automation is handled by a Ruby script which runs nightly on a Raspberry Pi 3 in my home studio. The code is open and reviewable on GitHub. Development is ongoing, and I imagine Castbot to be a playground for future electroacoustic experiments.