#DMLabChallenge with the British Council – 9th Sept 2016

Drake Music supports the development of new accessible musical instruments for disabled musicians.

On 9th September at Southbank Centre we will be revealing the results of #DMLabChallenge – a 4 week hack competition for technologists to develop new accessible music technology.

This event is being run in partnership with the British Council, alongside Unlimited Festival, and will share some of our work with a specially-invited international audience.
A young male holds up a piece of basic technology he is developing

Images: Emile Holba

Why more tech?

Accessible musical instruments remove barriers to music making for disabled musicians, allowing creative expression and choice in music making.

There is a real need for a broader variety of accessible instruments, which allow a range of expression & skill levels for musicians.

At Drake Music we bridge the gap between musicians and makers, technologists, coders and developers to pioneer new accessible music technology.

Non-disabled people can make music in many ways and at many different levels. Drake Music’s vision is a world where disabled people have the same range of opportunities and a culture of integrated music-making, where disabled and non-disabled musicians work together as equals.

What can you expect at #DMLabChallenge?

At the Drake Music Hackathon designers, makers, coders and hackers will come together to showcase new musical instruments and interfaces that are accessible to disabled musicians.

Hackathons are about inspiring new thinking and innovation, and in this spirit a lot of the projects on display will be unfinished and in progress, looking to the future.

So, expect to see a full range of projects from finished masterpieces to barely working proof-of-concepts.

Events like this allow makers to share knowledge, and allows Drake Music to curate new thinking, in a process that constantly challenges assumptions of what is possible in music making for disabled musicians.

They also give space for experimentation, inspiration, success and failure, with something to learn from each project submitted, regardless of how ‘finished’ it is.

In the run up to this event Drake Music ran an innovation challenge.

Nine making teams have had three weeks to develop a new idea, all of which will be showcased at the event.

Entries have included a beard organ, a capacitive touch violin and an instrument that senses muscle movement.

We will also be showcasing some successful DMLab projects from the past year such as the Kellycaster, Mi.Mu Gloves & an accessible conducting baton.


Find out more

  • We will be sharing updates live from the event on Friday, which you can follow on our DMLab twitter account.
  • We will also blog some of the projects after here on the Drake Music website, so please check back for further information.
  • Finally, you can read more about DMLab here.

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