Music showcase!

Designing inclusive interactions

In 2015 Big Ears, a public engagement training scheme founded by Dr. Franziska Schroeder ran a collaboration with the Drake Music Northern Ireland.

The event was held under the theme “Designing Inclusive Interactions” and launched the exciting new collaboration between SARC and The Drake Music Project Northern Ireland. PhD researcher Koichi Samuels curated the event. On the first day, the researchers met with the musicians from Drake Music NI, together they collaborative planned how they would create bespoke input devices for Ableton Live workstations. Their remit was to design accessible musical instruments. The prototype interfaces that were created included a hacked game controller, gestural video camera interaction using an LED glove, and touch sensors that were calibrated to the musician’s facial movements.

The showcase performance to a public audience on the 27th March at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Queens University Belfast. A recording of one of the improvised pieces from Big Ears 2015 was aired on BBC Radio Ulster.

The project was sponsored by Queen’s Research and Development Training Fund and sponsored by major industry sponsors Ableton Live and Roland UK. (LOGOS) The blog can be accessed here:

Some of the instruments we use

AudioCubes are smart wireless light-emitting objects, capable of sensing each other’s location and orientation, as well as distance to each other and objects nearby (e.g. your hands). Each AudioCube has 4 onboard high speed and low latency infrared sensing and communication ports, capable of communicating with our AudioCubes nearby, as well as sensing your fingers and hands. AudioCubes are used by artists around the world for sound design, composition, live performance, music education, interactive installations, music therapy, and many other projects.

The Beamz is a gestural controller, this instrument will add full control for the musician with disabilities, while adding visual interest for the audience. Using new visual interfaces such as this will give full credit to the musician with disabilities for the generation and control of the music.

Soundbeam is a ‘touch free’ device which uses sensor technology to translate body movement into music and sound. In performance, education and therapy, this unique creative and expressive medium is widely recognised as ‘must-have’ technology.

The Launchpad is a MIDI controller which consists of an 8 x 8 grid of rubber pads which have LED lights behind them. This controller has become ubiquitous with the evolution of electronic music, letting you launch clips, play drum racks and control your mixer, all while creating LED lightshows.

The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age. It allows you to perform sequenced drum rhythms in real time and have control over input of notes, volume and effects.

Ableton Push is more than just a music controller. Push is the music making instrument that perfectly integrates with Ableton Live 9. Make a song from scratch with hands on control of melody, beats and structure. A tactile device that allows mouse and keyboard free manipulation of sound in Ableton music software on you computer.

This Skoog is an exciting new musical instrument with accessibility at its heart. It is designed explicitly for speical education to empower those unable to play traditional instruments. The Skoog is a soft, queezable object that simply plugs striaght into your computer or laptop’s USB port and by simply touching pressing, squashing, twisting or tapping the Skoog allows you to play a wide range of instruments intuitively.

Tel: 07918 719 595