Inclusive Music Making in Northern Ireland, 2017

We extended our collaboration between SARC (the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, led by Dr Franziska Schroeder) and DrakeMusicNI (led by Dr Michelle McCormack) to work with two industry facing partners: Farset Labs Belfast and The Hard Rain Soloist EnsembleBelfast

Together we aimed to identify improved ways in which music technology can afford the inclusion of disabled musicians into mainstream music making practices. Our research brings together abled and disabled musicians using bespoke technology – designed, tested and built through our partnership.

Dr Schroeder secured a prestigious UK research council funded PhD studentship (an AHRC NPIF award) , which is at the heart of this project. The award, made in October 2017, went to Alex Lucas, a former product designer working in industry.

The main stake holders were:

    • The SonicArts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s, an internationally recognised facility for digital media with strong industry partnerships including BBC NI, Opera NI, Cathedral Arts Festival, Moving on Music, DTS and Dolby. LeadDr Franziska Schroeder with Dr Miguel Ortiz, PhD researcher Alex Lucas, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Koichi Samuels.
    • Drake Music NI the subject matter expert with unique insight into the needs of disabled musicians and AMT facilitators. Drake provides the project with representative users of AMT and training in accessible music making. Lead: Dr Michelle McCormack with support by Drake Music Associates Daniel Todd, Damien Mills, Conor Teahan and Brendan McCloskey. 
    • Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble, a contemporary music group from Belfast devoted to the performance of modern and contemporary music. It was founded by Greg Caffrey in 2013, who remains the Artistic Director and its remit is to give a voice to local composers and to perform their music in the context of works by leading exponents of contemporary music from elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world.
      LeadDr Greg Caffrey
    • Belfast Hacker space Farset Labs: 
       the technical development team, providing engineering expertise in developing AMT solutions for disabled musicians. This consists of multiple rounds of prototype development and testing with representative AMT users and facilities. LeadDr Andrew Bolster

For more on Inclusive Immersive Technologies, funded by the AHRC, please visit out dedicated IIT page.