Hannah Shelmerdine and Chris Ball developed the AirHarp, for the DMLab North West Innovation Challenge in 2017.
Four groups were given just four weeks and £700 to create a new prototype for a new musical instrument, or concept, tailored to meet the needs of a specific musician in the team.
Hannah came to the DMLab challenge looking for a way to make music which would allow her to be in a band, an instrument which would be accessible within her movement and vision range.
The AirHarp became that instrument. It enabled Hannah to make music for the first time, and was designed to maximise the expressive control she is able to achieve.
It sits perfectly on Hannah’s wheelchair and is controlled by the sweeping hand motion Hannah finds most comfortable, triggering a sensor in order to play notes.
It is created in plywood with colourful buttons for maximum visibility.