Justin Marney

Monome & Lily

I recently gave a presentation at Developer Day on the Monome and Lily. Here is a brief synopsis of the talk as well as some resources to help you get started making patches in Lily.

An Introduction

I am Justin Marney.
I work at Viget Labs building websites using Ruby on Rails.


Introduce the concept of visual programming via a live demo.
Dig into a unique browser-based visual programming language named Lily.
Learn how, when, and why to use a visual programming language.
Show off the power of Lily via a DOM-driven sound generator.

Game of Life Sequencer Performance

Explained how my Game of Life sequencer works and played a short improvised set. Nothing broke, so I was pleased.

The Monome

A physical computing interface with an open-source hardware platform.
Built by Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain. The list of applications that run on the Monome.
The various models and information on how to order one for yourself.

Visual Programming Languages

Explained the basic concept behind visual programming languages.
Reviewed the basic language components and discussed common usage scenarios.
Showed how to create a basic Lily patch, which can be found here.


Lily is an open-source Firefox Add-On developed by Bill Orcutt.
Showed off Lily's ability to manipulate the DOM using a demo patch that scrambles the links on craigslist.
Created a custom external named cheerio using basic Javascript.

Open Sound Control

Briefly explained the technology behind Open Sound Control.
Described the Monome OSC protocol.
Showed a small example of how to use oscsend and oscreceive in Lily.

DOM-Driven Sound Generator Performance

Showed off a patch that turns DOM elements into sound bytes and allows me to sequence them using the Monome. For some reason the Monome wasn't getting the /led messages which was frustrating. Fortunately, the cheerio external allowed me to create a sequence via the mouse and we got to listen to the sounds of Star Trek, my twitter profile, and the Viget Labs website. It sounded industrial as hell. Trent Reznor would have been proud.

Further Reading

The pdf version of the slides.
All of the example patches and the keynote presentation.
The DOM Sound Generator
Max/MSP, the licensed version of PureData.
Ableton Live, the sound generator.