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!
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.