DMLab – Exploring accessible music technology


DM Lab Exploring accessible music technology

Wednesday 27th September 2023 – 6pm

Location: Graeae Theatre, Bradbury Studios, 138 Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8DY

Book your FREE ticket

DMLab is a free event for Disabled & non-disabled musicians, technologists, & makers to come together & explore accessible music making.

We’re delighted to welcome presenters John Kelly, Jon Pigrem, and Dave Darch who will be sharing their own innovations and use of accessible instruments as musicians, educators, and makers. The event will also include opportunities for networking and music making and testing a selection of instruments from Drake Music’s Accessible Musical Instrument Collection.

While this will be an in-person event, there will also be the opportunity to view the presentations online. Register for an online ticket to receive the Zoom link, which will be shared ahead of the event.


The venue is accessible, there will be a quiet space available, and we will have live captions and BSL interpreters at the session. Please let us know of any specific access requirements when registering for the event.

John Kelly:

As a pioneering artist John Kelly has broken new ground and continues to encourage change through his music. Active in the Disability movement for over 30 years, John has toured nationally and internationally with leading arts organisations such as Extraordinary Bodies Circus Company, Unlimited and Graeae Theatre Company. He performed at the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and more recently on national TV playing his bespoke guitar, the Kellycaster for the para homecoming at Wembley Arena. He released his debut album Better Late Than Never to a sold out audience at the Southbank last September.

John worked with technologists and luthiers to design and build the Kellycaster. It’s hard to believe that the instrument is now six years old! We are delighted to welcome John back to DMLab, where he will be sharing some music and the journey that he and the Kellycaster have been on.


Jon Pigrem:

Jon Pigrem is a Digital Musical Instrument maker and researcher. The image above is of the Slider Box – a listening device he co-designed with a range of stakeholders including those living with dementia to increase access to musical listening in care home settings.

Working on the Music Dementia Technology project at The University of Sheffield, Jon explores the development of technology to facilitate accessible musical experiences for older adults and those living with dementia or cognitive decline.

Jon’s PhD research at Queen Mary University of London explores musical interaction in digital systems through enactive multi-sensory design. Set within the entanglements of material, technology and player, his work seeks to address the ‘episteme’ that often surrounds Digital Musical Instruments and replace with it a more Phenomenological approach that prioritises individuals with unique bodies and minds.


Dave Darch:

Dave Darch is an educator, musician, and lead artist for Some Kind of Hackspace; a hackspace for neurodivergent young people. Through his work he’s been creating interactive sound and light experiences, exploring creative coding using tiny computers such as Raspberry Pis and Arduinos, sensors, and video games controllers.

For DMLab, Dave will be sharing his latest sound and animation making machines, which everyone will have the opportunity to play with and explore.

DMLab London is supported by the City Bridge Trust and with public funding from Arts Council England.