James Weaver: Composing Music in the Cloud

While waiting for Codemotion Rome 2016 to kick in, we continue with our quick chat series with our speakers. It’s James Weaver’s turn this time.

James Weaver is a Java developer, author, and speaker with a passion for helping Java to be increasingly leveraged in rich-client and and cloud-native applications. James has written books including Inside Java, Beginning J2EE, the Pro JavaFX series, and Java with Raspberry Pi.

As an Pivotal Evangelist, James speaks internationally at software technology conferences about Java and Cloud Native development. He tweets as @JavaFXpert, blogs at javafxpert.com and culturedear.com.


Hi James, could you give us a quick introduction of your talk?

Ciao, cirpo!  My talk is entitled “Composing Music in the Cloud”, and it demonstrates how music can be dynamically analyzed and composed in the cloud.  The style of music that we’ll be presenting is known as species-counterpoint, and it has a very structured set of rules for composition, created in the 1700s.  This makes it conducive to algorithmic composition by computer programs.  During my session we’ll explore this style of music and the microservices-based application that I developed (CounterpointComposer.com) to automatically compose it.


You already attended Codemotion Rome as a speaker, what do you like the most about this conference?

The Codemotion/Roma audience is very knowledgeable and friendly, and the conference is extremely well organized.  I really liked the vibe of the conference last time, and am looking forwarding to speaking again this year.


Your book “Raspberry Pi with Java: Programming the Internet of Things (IoT)”  has been released just few months ago, in November. Python is the popular programming language used on the Raspberry Pi,  why should we use Java instead?

Both Python and Java are great languages, and it’s great that developers have a choice.  As a Java developer and Java Champion, I happen to prefer developing apps on Raspberry Pi with Java.


You will talk about music composition: can developers define themselves as code “composers”?

Absolutely!  The process and skill sets are very similar, and there seems to be a high correlation between aptitudes for coding and musical composition.


Talking about music, what’s your favourite album?

Some of my favorite albums are Live Art by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Secret World by Peter Gabriel, Liquid Tension Experiment by Liquid Tension Experiment, and Where the Light is by John Mayer.


Is there any book you would suggest related to music and programming?

Yes, Notes from the Metalevel by Heinrich K. Taube is a very good introduction to algorithmic music composition.


If you could improve one thing in tech conferences, what would it be?

One improvement I’d like to make is to increase the number of attendees that are introduced to each other.  It is easy for attendees of technical conferences to get lost in the crowd, relating to a few people that they know, rather than introducing themselves (or being introduced) to other attendees.  It would be great to have a culture in which it feels unnatural for folks in proximity to each other to not have been introduced.  Does that resonate?

Thanks for your interest in my thoughts,  and I look forward to speaking at Codemotion/Roma!

Thank you James, see you at Codemotion Rome 2016!



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