At Digit Music, we’ve made it our mission to break down the barriers to creativity that various disabilities can impose on those affected. Control One, our pioneering technological invention, provides wheelchair users with a simple, revolutionary way to create and compose music from the comfort of their own controllers.

Combining outstanding research with astonishing innovation, Digit Music’s Control One technology has given previously disadvantaged people the opportunity to channel their amazing creativity into a brave, vital new form of music composition, performance and production, opening the doors to confidence and education in the process.

But, don’t just take it from us. Of the many people whose lives have changed thanks Control One, Jess Fisher’s story is one of the most inspirational. As an avid music lover who uses a wheelchair every day, Jess has been one of our biggest success stories.

To find out more about just how much of an impact Control One has had on her life, we sat down with Jess and her family to ask her a series of questions about her experiences with such a groundbreaking form of musical technology.

An Interview with Jess Fisher

Digit Music: Where did your love of music come from?

Jess: My love of music came from growing up in church, and being surrounded by my siblings who were a part of the worship team at my local church. My older sister sings and plays the guitar, my twin sister plays the cajón and my younger brother plays the piano.

Digit Music: How have you made music in the past?

Jess: In the past, I have made music through soundbeams and iPads.

Digit Music: How did you hear about Digit Music and Control One?

Jess: Way back in 2013, Inspire Youth Arts came into Fountaindale Specialist School to teach us how to put music together through an iPad. Si Tew (founder of Digit Music) was employed by them and came along to help. He has worked with us ever since.
During one of our sessions with Si, we discussed how it would be great if something could be done with the wheelchair controller as it was a familiar piece of equipment that we used every day and we had built up a lot of muscle memory from doing so.

Si went away and, using his brilliant knowledge of all things tech, created Control One. Si then asked me if I would be the first one to play Control One, and I have performed and produced several tracks since then.

Digit Music: What makes Control One different from other tools made to help disabled people make music?

Jess: What makes Control One easy to use is the fact that it is part of our everyday life anyway as we have all of that muscle memory stored up. It also doesn’t require a lot of effort, unlike holding or playing a musical instrument, and it’s very straightforward because it only requires the use of one hand.

Digit Music: What skills have you been able to develop after using Control One?

Jess: After using Control One, I have learnt how to put my own piece of music together as well as how to apply visual effects. I’ve also learnt how to memorise sheets of music. I think the most important skill I’ve learnt is the technical side of music creation. My social skills have also definitely improved as I’m having to interact more with different people.

Digit Music: How has your life changed after using Control One?

Jess: Firstly, I can make music just like my siblings can, but in a different way, and
I’m getting to perform on stage. It’s also opened up new opportunities for me, to help break down the barriers for people with disabilities.

It’s given me a new perspective on technology. When there’s so much negativity around it, it can be used for good. I also get to work with some amazing people and all the fantastic staff at Inspire Youth Arts!

Digit Music: What does the future hold for you?

Jess: I am looking forward to starting a new mentoring role with Si. This consists of going around schools and teaching others how to use Control One. I am also looking to continue making music and I am hopeful that this could turn into something wonderful.

I am certainly hoping that Control One will change people’s perceptions and the restrictions surrounding people with disabilities, showing them that anything is possible despite their limitations.

The Future of Digit Music

At Digit Music, we’re proud of how Control One has enabled many disabled people to discover a new outlet for their creativity and, in Jess’ case, presented them with many life-changing and previously-unreachable opportunities.

It’s our ambition to create many people in the same mould as Jess Fisher and to continue to dissolve the barriers keeping disabled people from showing the world the true extent of their creativity.

Contact us to find out more.

Listening to music not only aids concentration and motivation, but it has also been scientifically proven that listening to music stimulates the release of dopamine – the ‘feel good’ chemical that we naturally produce during times of pleasure and happiness. This manifests into improving spells of low moods, subsiding symptoms of depression and improving cognitive performance. Learning and playing an instrument or creating music has an array of positive psychological effects, and is often accurately described as therapeutic.

9 OUT OF 10 CHILDREN WANT TO PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) conducted a piece of research which found that 9 in 10 children want to learn to play a musical instrument. Unfortunately, many children are restricted by a physical condition and/or learning disability, which creates a barrier between the young person and their desire for musical creation. Being bound to a wheelchair or restricted by movement can often have adverse effects on an individual’s mental health. Removing restrictions from music creation is the inspiration behind the idea that became Digit Music’s Control One device.

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS IN MUSIC CREATION

Here at Digit Music, our core belief is that learning, playing or creating music is a paramount form of creative expression, and every single individual should have access to this. The Control One device grants those with disabilities, (which limits their accessibility to musical instruments and music production), with a revolutionary alternative to exercise their musical expression. Our award-winning device has adapted modern technology and operates in a similar fashion to an electric wheelchair joystick – allowing ease of use for the individual due to its familiar controls. We are also pledging to provide every SEN (Special Educational Needs) school across the UK a Control One Ensemble device package to allow students with disabilities to explore music creation on an advanced level.

CONTROL ONE DEVICE WORKSHOPS – COMING SOON

Digit Music are currently in the process of preparing for the launch of our Control One Experience Workshops – keep your eyes peeled for more updates on this VERY soon or contact us for more info!

On Wednesday, Digit Music headed down to London to attend the Tech4Good 2019 award ceremony, alongside members of Inspire Youth Arts and budding musician, Jess Fisher, who has delivered live performances using our Control One device. The Tech4Good annual ceremony which is hosted by AbilityNet and supported by BT, recognises and celebrates inspirational organisations and individuals who use passion and determination to fuel changes within the music industry to break down barriers and restrictions regarding musical creation. There was even a special appearance from the 2018 winner of Britain’s Got Talent: Lost Voice Guy (who is the UK’s first standup comedian to use a communication aid in his performances!)

Winning the Accessibility Award

As a highlight, we have some incredibly exciting news – we are absolutely delighted and over the moon to announce that we won the Accessibility Award! This is truly a milestone moment for everyone here at Digit Music and we are now more excited than ever to see what the future holds for Control One, making us even more determined to dissolve the musical restrictions experienced by those with disabilities.

Spreading Awareness About Control One

We were also invited to bring our Control One devices down for the event, so over the course of the day, we opened up a stall where we delivered demonstrations on how our one-of-a-kind technology works, discussed how we adapted the concept of electric wheelchair controls which birthed the ControlOne device, and how it’s granted those with restricted movement, the ability to compose music and exercise music creativity.

Smashing Our Crowdfunder Target!

This week has been full of achievements; we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated to our Crowdfunder campaign – we smashed and exceeded our goal of £7,500! We are now well on our way to fulfill our goal of providing Control One device packages to schools. We have left our Crowdfunder open due to our success this week, so we welcome any other generous donations to help us reach our stretch target and donate another Control One Ensemble into a SEN school!

Donate here.

Contact us here to find out more.

We have had a busy yet fulfilling beginning to the week; we spent Monday and Tuesday at Ashfield Academy introducing our revolutionary Control One device. Ashfield Academy is a Special Educational Needs school, accommodating for the ages between 4-19, where it celebrates its excellent spirit in nurturing young individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Over the course of these two days, we delivered a workshop introducing the Control One device, discussing and presenting its ease of use to unleash musical expression. By the second day, the class of 10 eagerly composed a piece of music and performed it, making it a very rewarding day of unlocking new musical talents!

Our Aim to Visit Schools

Here at Digit music, we strongly believe that music is a primary form of creative expression which should be accessible for every single individual. Playing or composing music was once an inaccessible and a restricted activity for those with physical disabilities; however, we are extremely proud of the Control One device which has been designed to adapt to modern technology, combined with the recognition of the ease of use in electric wheelchair controls. As part of our Control One campaign, we are currently embarking on our vision to visit SEN (Special Education) schools across the UK, to grant children and young adults with disabilities, the ability to experience the joy of music and inspire any budding music creators who have felt creatively restricted the music sector.

Find Out More About Control One

If you would like to find out more information about Control One, request a workshop for your school – or find out how our classroom packages could benefit yours and your students – take a look at our website for more information, or get in contact with the Digit Music team today and start your journey.

From the dawn of time, music is found in every human culture, from isolated prehistoric tribes to massive 21st century multimedia conglomerates. Although primarily a form of entertainment, the therapeutic power of music has long been recorded. A simple melody can invoke a thousand memories, and provide a connection that overcomes the barrier of language or ability. It is no surprise, in that case, that music has been used as a form of therapy from as early as the 18th century, and is today still a scientifically validated treatment option for a range of physical and mental health conditions. Whether listening to the radio or forming your own compositions, there are innumerable ways to interact with music, and at Digit Music, we believe everybody should have the opportunity to express themselves through creating music, regardless of physical or mental capabilities.

A Revolutionary Music System

It is our deeply held belief in the power of music and everybody’s right to freely express themselves using it that led to the conception of Control One- a controller and music system designed by Digit Music that enables disabled people to make music by turning small physical movements into expressive sounds, harnessing muscle memory and familiarity to do so. The Control One adapts normal wheelchair controllers to interact with computers, allowing those with physical disabilities to create music. Small movements of the joystick can be converted into complex musical phrases for full freedom of expression in an innovatively accessible way, creating bespoke audio sessions. All settings can be adapted to allow for differentiated control options for each user, and multiple devices can be used in unison to create ensemble performances.

In creating the Control One, Digit Music enlisted the help of 20-year-old Jess Fisher, a member of the Able Orchestra. An instrumental figure in developing the Control One, Jess is the first artist to use the controller in live solo performances, winning awards in such as The Mighty Creative’s Emerging Artist Award in the process. We are delighted to have her on our team of tutors for future Control One workshops!

 

Control One

The Control One Campaign

Our current goal is to bring Digit Music’s Control One to classrooms across the country, allowing children and young people with disabilities to experience the joy of music as part of their school experiences. Control One Ensemble is capable of using up to 10 devices in unison, making it the perfect system for Special Education (SEN) classrooms and allowing classmates to create, perform, and connect with each other in a way that transcends words or capability.

As we’re sure you’ll agree, this is a highly ambitious task, and in order to achieve our vision, we are launching a campaign to raise £15,000 to build 20 Control One devices for donation to two SEN schools, including Fountaindale School in Nottinghamshire. Si Tew, our founder, a sound designer and composer, has a special connection with the school, and their music coordinator, Sue Wood, having worked with them for many years as part of the Able Orchestra.

Our campaign is the first step in bringing the Control One technology to schools across the country, so is an integral step in reaching our vision. To donate, simply click here to follow the link to our Crowdfunder campaign! We appreciate each and every donation, and cannot thank you enough for your support on behalf of all of the children who will benefit from the Control One system.Contact us for any further information.

The World is in abundance of talented people that were born to create music – but what happens when your talent and passion is limited by your abilities?

Digit Music and Able Orchestra

The Founders of Digit Music, including Music Producer, DJ and Performer – Si Tew, have been privileged to work with the Able Orchestra for many years, with the aim of battling restrictions from music creation and enabling these incredible young people to express themselves through music performance in the easiest possible way.

A NEW MUSICAL INTERFACE

The team discovered Able Orchestra, and other people restricted from music creation because of disabilities, have – until now – often relied upon tablets and touch-screen technologies to produce and perform their music. Whilst these methods are fantastic in many ways, the Digit Music team found that they were still restrictive because they required adaptations or newly learned movement from users. The team discovered a need for a fit-for-purpose controller device that is tailored to suit people that want to create music with a wide range of restrictions, and after working with many people that use electric wheelchairs, it was apparent that these people have a proficiency of movement using these controllers. From this discovery formed an innovative and revolutionary idea that is set to transform music creation for restricted users – and this idea became Control One.

Control One

Control One is a regular electric wheelchair controller which has been adapted for its use in music creation. Users can perform and interact through bespoke audio sessions with complex musical phrases using small and simple movements from the joystick. Settings can be adapted and tailored to each user, and multiple devices can be used to create ensemble performances, which Digit Music believes will be groundbreaking for specialist schools. Not only is Control One an easy-to-use device for high level performance, it is also highly effective and creative tool for composition and learning.

Find out more about Control One and Digit Music

Want to find out more about Control One devices and the packages available for schools and individual users? Take a look at our website for more information.