The OrchLab Partnership brings together the music of the London Philharmonic Orchestra with accessible instruments and technology designed by Drake Music to enable high quality, inclusive and creative music-making at Leonard Cheshire centres and online. OrchLab is an LPO initiative generously supported by JTI.

Building innovative instruments

Traditional acoustic instrument-playing (by members of the Orchestra and project participants) is blended with cutting-edge technology, including bespoke accessible instruments.

Our DMLab team have spent time with the workshop participants at Leonard Cheshire, understanding their musical preferences, skills and abilities and figuring out what access requirements they have that aren’t being met by the instruments they currently have access to.

The team then work on new designs for these instruments.

This is an iterative process in which they come up with a new instrument idea with the participants, build a prototype in the DMLab, test it live in the workshops with the disabled musicians and incorporate the learning and feedback in the next version of the design.

The instruments we build will then be left with participants in the Leonard Cheshire centres, so they can still make music and access this cutting edge tech when the workshops finish.

Musical Inspiration

The musical inspiration for the workshops comes from the LPO’s main concert series at Royal Festival Hall.

Participants create their own original pieces of music based on these works and themes, using their bespoke instruments and recorded samples from the LPO concerts.

Each disabled musician will work closely with the Orchestra musicians who performed in the concerts, providing a vital link between the Orchestra’s music and the project.

Leonard Cheshire Disability & the LPO

Leonard Cheshire Disability is a national charity that supports thousands of disabled people across the UK, offering a range of services including supported living accommodation, home care and day centres.

The LPO has already enjoyed working with Leonard Cheshire Disability over the past five years, running workshops for disabled adults with LPO musicians, using handheld percussion instruments and voices.

OrchLab allows them to go a step further, expanding participation for people who may have limited mobility, or other physical or learning difficulties.