Drake Music are to host the BBC Performing Arts Fund Music Fellow Bram Harrison (aka DJ Eye Tech), a DJ and musician with locked-in syndrome. Bram is based in Exeter and presents the ‘Eye Life’ show on local radio Phonic FM on an ad hoc basis. As a Drake Music Fellow, Bram Harrison will develop his career as a DJ and musician and advocate for equality of participation and collaboration in music making by disabled and non-disabled people.
Drake Music pioneer the use of assistive music technology (AMT) to make music accessible and have developed a wealth of innovative and imaginative approaches to teaching, learning and making music. We will use our specialist knowledge and expertise to provide uniquely tailored support to Bram during the Fellowship. During the Fellowship Bram will
- Create high quality compositions for radio and digital platforms
- Develop the Eye Life Radio Show and work to establish it as a sustainable show
- Deliver Drake Music seminars and events to increase awareness and raise aspirations amongst disabled musicians nationally
Bram will work with DM Associate Musicians and DJs to develop his musical practice and make music independently. The culmination of the Fellowship will be an ‘Eye Life’ radio show which will draw on the skills, knowledge and experience gained by Bram during the Fellowship and include the creative products of the Fellowship. The radio show will be aired on Phonic FM and other potential radio partners developed during the course of the Fellowship. Drake Music will work with the BBC to explore the possibility of Bram being featured on DAB radio.
About Bram Harrison aka DJ Eye Tech
Bram has amazing drive, passion and determination to break into the music industry despite disabling barriers – he has created 15 Eye Life Radio Shows between 2009 and 2013. DJ Eye Tech and the Eye Life Show is probably one of the most unique radio shows in the world. DJ Eye Tech has locked-in syndrome, which was the result of a cycling accident he had when he was 21. This means he is completely paralysed, apart from being able to move his eyes. He cannot speak and hasn’t done so for over 10 years.
Bram communicates using a Voice Output Communication Aid or VOCA, similar to the technology that Prof. Stephen Hawking uses. With help from friends, Bram runs a radio show called ‘Eye Life’, which is broadcast on Phonic FM, a community station based in Exeter. Bram presents the show using his VOCA. With the help of an eye tracking computer, with on an screen key board, Bram is able to type what he wants to say. The computer can then speak the message aloud and it’s this computerised voice that is used to create the shows. Bram compiles all the content and format for the two hour shows himself, which are then edited for broadcast. His unique style of presentation and his excellent music selection make the show a great listen. Find out more on his website www.eyelife.org.
“Drake Music are delighted that the BBC Performing Arts Fund have awarded a Fellowship grant to DJ/Musician Bram Harrison. Over the coming months, we will be working closely with Bram to develop his musical practice, support his career development and advocate for equality of participation and collaboration in music making by disabled and non-disabled people.” Carien Meijer, Chief Executive, Drake Music
The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a charity committed to developing new performing arts talent from across the UK. Since its inception in 2003 the Fund has awarded over £4m to aspiring musicians and talented performing arts individuals and community groups. To learn more about what the Fund does and how to apply please visit the website www.bbc.co.uk/performingartsfund