OrchLab with London Philharmonic Orchestra

London Philharmonic Orchestra LogoWe are delighted to announce a new creative partnership with the LPO.


OrchLab is a new three-year project, in collaboration with London Philharmonic Orchestra, offering creative music workshops in Leonard Cheshire Disability centres in the London area.

Traditional acoustic instrument-playing (by members of the Orchestra and project participants) will be blended seamlessly with cutting-edge technology.

Bespoke accessible instruments, developed to suit the individual needs of the workshop participants, will be created over the course of the project by Drake Music Associate Musicians.

The instruments we build will then be left with participants, so they can still make music when the workshops finish.

Chief Executive ofDrake Music, Carien Meijer commented:

“We are so pleased to be working with the LPO again and supporting their fantastic music-making in Leonard Cheshire Disability centres.

We believe that everyone has the right to make music and the development of instruments bespoke to individual access needs can help to make that  reality.

Our fantastic DMLab collaborators have created ingenious instruments like the MusicBlower, a synth controlled just with breath and the Kellycaster, a guitar playable with one finger.

Disabled musicians are at the heart of our work, and at the cutting edge of music technology.

This project is certain to provide some interesting technical challenges for our hackers and makers, and I look forward to seeing and hearing the creative results.”

An online platform will be used to share resources with other centres nationwide, which will ensure the project’s legacy beyond the workshops.


Musical Inspiration

The musical inspiration for the workshops and online platform will be taken from the LPO’s main concert series at Royal Festival Hall.

Participants will 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.

The new OrchLab project will allow them to go a step further and expand participation for people who may have limited mobility or other physical or learning difficulties.

OrchLab is generously supported by JTI.