In the lead up to the launch of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app, we’d like to tell you the story of our journey to this point.

Over the next few days we’ll release ten blogs by project manager Barbara Palczynski, charting the ten months it’s taken to turn ideas into reality. Here is her latest installment.

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The Invisible Engineer – November 2014

Our #ClappingMusicApp is developing at a rate of knots now. We are completely immersed in research and anecdotal evidence of what makes a game fun and addictive and what the best ways are to help people learn rhythm. It is mind boggling. Our meetings last for hours and we feed off each other’s enthusiasm. We can all see the digital Mount Everest, the sun is shining, we have left base camp, and we are pacing ourselves because we know that slow and steady wins the race. Charting unknown territory is a bit scary too.

andy avatar

“The Invisible Engineer” Andy’s Avatar

Within our team, we have a sherpa called Andy – he knows his way around the mountain, and actually builds the app. We have never met him because he is our invisible engineer. He is a voice on Skype in every meeting, and he holds all the code for writing our app in his head! He is one clever guy. He writes algorithms for the margin of error between tapping the screen and calculating accuracy.

This wonderful world of research and development, so alien to many arts organisations, gives us an invitation to try, and to fail, but ultimately the possibility to succeed. Embracing digital technology suddenly feels really creative, and the algorithms and the data don’t seem so very different to the musical language of putting on concerts. Coding seems so beautiful and so very relevant to our world. Thank you Nesta for opening this door.

Barbara Palczynski

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