DM at NIME2020 and the Accessibility award

We had a fantastic week at NIME this year, having been invited to do keynote presentation and performance.

The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression gathers researchers and musicians from all over the world to share their knowledge and late-breaking work on new musical interface design. This year’s theme was Accessibility.

So, we took the opportunity to publicly present our new Accessible Musical Instrument Collection (AMIC) for the first time, as well as to put forward some challenges to the NIME community around future instrument and tech development.

Jo Cox, Steve Varden and John Kelly then did a storming gig, with John performing the only live set at the entire conference!  

The NIME Accessibility Award

We were also invited to present the NIME Accessibility award, which was a great honour.

We very much enjoyed the judging process, and it was wonderful to see so many great projects addressing Disability at the conference.

The award was judged by a panel of Disabled and non-Disabled Drake Music team members, including some of our Artists in Residence.

Our criteria for selection were based around the underlying principles that we work with at Drake Music, which place Disabled people at the heart of project development following the idea “Nothing About Us Without Us”.

In particular, the following elements were very important in our assessment of projects, whether addressed implicitly or explicitly: 

In the end there was a unanimous decision to award the prize to… (drumroll please)….

Mondgewächse: A Collaborative Methodology For Audiovisual Mappings in Inclusive Instrument Design

Congratulations to:
  • Patricia Alessandrini >Stanford CCRMA
  • Sophia Alexandersson >ShareMusic & performing Arts, Sweden
  • Freida Abtan – Goldsmiths, London
  • Pete Larson of Influence Ensemble
And indeed to everyone involved in the collaboration

The Award Citation Reads:

“This is a fantastic project that stood out from the other entries by placing Disabled musicians at the heart of both the instrument development and creative processes, combining accessible  technology and performance in a way that was both sophisticated and compelling.
The commitment to collaborative practice was admirable  and the flexibility and imagination in the interface design, unhindered by traditional ideas of what an instrument can be, really pushed the boundaries of music making and the Aesthetics of Access.
It was also particularly important to us that an interview with Peter Larsson, one of the Disabled musicians involved in the project, was included in the presentation materials, the voice of Disabled People is clearly heard.
All in all, a wonderful and transformative project. Congratulations!”
John Kelly, Tim Yates and The Drake Music Panel.
25 July, 2020

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