Making music with software

Date | Thursday 18th March 2021
Time | 7:00pm to 9:00pm GMT
Location   | Zoom Get tickets here

We’ll hear from Duncan McGreggor ( about making music in software.

Duncan will be introducing the group to the undertone project – which will also require a brief intro to Erlang, OTP, and the LFE dialect of Erlang.

On the music side, we’ll talk about MIDI, Open Sound Control, and live coding platforms like SuperCollider and Extempore – and why these depend upon OTP’s supervision trees! The format is intended to be highly conversational with lots of lovely interruptions and tangents! If, at the end of that time, there’s a bit of room for it, we’ll do some shared live coding and music-making with Extempore.

For those that want to try their hands at making some noises, Be sure to download the latest Extempore release for their platform from

For the adventurous, you may want to have the following installed on your system: gcc build tools, git, Erlang 23.x, rebar3, and a clone of the undertone repository:

Duncan has had a full career in the computing industry, where his quarter-century of computer programming experience has led to the current position as Principal Engineer working for the CTO of a tech company.

The path to this point has been wild and varied, including not only professional high-points of working at NASA as well as for Ubuntu – at the time, the world’s most popular Linux operating system distribution – but also as a linguist in the 101st Airborne Division; physics and maths student at uni; a meditation student traveling to India and Nepal; a casualty of the dot-com bust of 2000/2001 and the 2007/2008 recession; and one of millions of programmers in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. He has also managed to write a technical book on mathematical programming, create two home-based recording studios, and learn carpentry as part of fixing up a 1915 American Arts-and-Crafts-era home, falling in love with the hand tools of fine woodworking as a result. His deepest technical passion for the past decade has been as a contributor to Lisp Flavoured Erlang (LFE), created and maintained by Robert Virding, co-inventor of Erlang itself.