Koichi Samuels, Programme Manager at Drake Music NI is a music researcher and electronic musician. He completed his PhD research on inclusive music in a collaborative study with Drake Music NI and Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast. His current research and work focus now is in music and social inclusion, creative economy and music technology.
Dr Brendan McCloskey is a musician and accessible digital instruments designer, who has worked with Drake Music NI for over ten years, as Access Music tutor and Training Officer. His interests include hacking and repurposing cheap electronics, and building customised instruments for people with disabilities.
Damian Mills started music making 21 years ago as a percussionist specialising in Brazilian Samba. He has 15 years experience as a workshop facilitator in community music specialising in carnival carnival styles, and through the course of his work has developed skills in event organising, administration and design. He developes street music and performance nationally and internationally and uses community music to help create local and large scale events.
Combining talent with appropriate equipment and interfaces, musicians with disabilities have the opportunity to compose, perform and record their own music, in an equal, empowering and creative atmosphere, learning from, playing alongside and composing for all nature of musicians in ensembles and workshops weekly. The ultimate aim of thte Drake Music Project Northern Ireland is to afford musicians with disabilities and their wider community the opportunity to achieve their full potential – independently.
The musicians of the Drake Music Project Northern Ireland run weekly workshops, ensemble rehearsals and periodic residential composition series, providing training and assistance to parents and carers in parallel support programs, and develop and refine models of best practice for learning and combining assistive technology, creativity and disability access issues in the arts domain, with the core aim of empowering and advocating independence and inclusion for the musician with disabilities.
Researching, designing and implementing music programmes of learning and creative expression, using state of the art music and assistive technologies, we offer professional tutoring, parents access courses, carers support courses and musicians creativity ensembles in order that people with visual impairment, physical disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, hearing impairment, autism and ADHD are not left on the community sidelines in the creative process.