13 October, 21

ICPC in Moscow: Vladimir Rannev's musical premieres

On the 3rd of October Moscow hosted for the first time the final tournament of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), the most prestigious world championship in algorithmic programming. More than 60,000 students from 115 countries participated in the qualifying rounds. This is the real Olympics for the best minds on the planet.

The Opening ceremony of the Championship was held in the Zaryadye Concert Hall and was based on the idea of merging academic art with algorithms and codes used by programmers in their professional activities. The curator of the cultural program was the Aksenov Family Foundation for the support of Contemporary Art and Culture. The Foundation's strategy aims to initiate ideas and intellectual innovations within the field of culture.

It is such ideas and their implementation that will determine the development of mankind
The founder of the AFF, Dmitry Aksenov

According to the organizers, algorithmic programming is comparable to "mathematical music, which is then played on computers". Perhaps this poetic comparison was the starting point for the Opening program, based on musical performances performed by academic ensembles.

The Opening ceremony included the world premiere of a three-part work by composer Vladimir Rannev, created at the initiative and commissioned by the Aksenov Family Foundation. The musical performance "Balalaika 8 Bit", dedicated to the synthesis of artificial and human intelligence, was a synthesis of an 8-bit sound composition for 8 balalaikas and a video sequence of "Zhostovo" floral ornaments transformed into digital images. The conversion is based on a pixel brightness sorting code. As a result, the performance of composer Vladimir Rannev and artist Alexander Yaichnikov was based on the meeting of two cultures: early computer and folk, focused on playing instruments of national sound.

The Classical Cello Quartet of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra interpreted the sound of the digital code in its own way. The musical performance "Bubble Sorting Algorithm", performed by them, is based on the visualization of the simplest sorting algorithm - the "Bubble" method - an iconic phenomenon in the world student culture and the prototype of many memes. As a result of this musical interpretation, the strict numerical relationships that underlie programming practice reflect the conflict of chaos and order that is at the heart of any work of art.

The musical performance "Hello, World!" uses the first combination of words displayed on the screen in the Python programming language. This text is used in a vocal number for a capella choir performed by the N'Caged Ensemble. Graphic animation forms the basis of the video sequence accompanying the vocal and highlighting the program name using the simplest characters from the ASCII coding table: alphabetic, numeric, and punctuation marks. The universality of the greeting "Hello, world!"is used in performance as a symbol of live communication with complete freedom of translation between different languages and systems.

The final of the ICPC Championship - in unison with the Opening Ceremony - is to prove: although the transition to digital is not easy and the speed of life is increasing disastrously, but the connected intellect unites the world and makes it creative.

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