I recently collaborated with the team at Drake Music to start a detailed process of documenting their world leading development of assistive music technology for disabled musicians. Through a national network of associates and consultants, the organisation fosters an imaginative and innovative approach to creating a truly inclusive culture of music making > with near unparalleled success.
To really start to understand the levels to which Drake Music go to ensuring disabled people have meaningful access to musical instruments, I joined them at the recent Web We Want Festival at London's Southbank Centre. As one of the key participants of the Web We Want Festival, DM were out in full force staging a 12 hour adaptive music tech hackathon and displaying their music technology designs in the Clore Ballroom.
Carefully nurtured over the last last 2 years, Gawain Hewitt has assembled a crack team of some of Europe's best coders and hardware hackers. As DM's Head of Research & Development, he's formed a free thinking skunk works of technologists passionate about seeking new ways of utilising readily available software, regular low cost (dare I say mundane) hardware with an in-depth knowledge of source and machine code. This 2 year relationship is proving rather fertile with busy monthly 'hack' meets, strong collaborative interaction with disabled musicians and a joint desire to bring projects to life. Projects that work, are easily accessible and economically available to all.
For an insightful analysis of the 12 hour hackathon along with some mini profiles of DM's Web We Want's activities, please read this enlighting blog entry by writer & broadcaster Kester Brewin (please note that Alex Williams simply uploaded the article > Kester is the author and more of my photographs are featured). You can also catch up with a previous news entry called 'Photobombing' featuring 2 of Drake Music's leading disabled musicians > John Kelly & Kris Halpin.
My work with Drake Music continues throughout 2015 and I look forward to updating and sharing photographic progress captured in a world where algorithmic complexities meet creative arts.