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Symposium To Showcase Developing Technology And Research For Disabled Artists

30 May 2012

Some of the world's leading academics will attend a cutting edge symposium at the University of Ulster on how technologies can be used to encourage more disabled artists to create music.

The event, entitled‘Inclusive Creativity: the Impact of Technology’which will take place at the School of Creative Arts in the Foyle Arts Building on the University’s Magee Campus on Friday 1and Saturday 2June,willfocus on the impacts of ongoing research into how developing technologies facilitate and enhance the participation of disabled musicians in creative music making and performance and will highlight the therapeutic benefits.

The symposiumwill alsoprovide a platform for showcasing significant new working methods for disabled musicians using cutting edge technologies and demonstrating hardware interfaces in ongoing projects and in considering its application to Connected Health.

ProfessorFrank Lyons,Director of Arts & Humanities Research Institute at the University of Ulster said:“Those who come along on Friday and Saturdaywill be ableto seeand try out these excitingdevelopmentsand technologies for themselves.

“We have Tim Swingler, the inventor of the most widely used piece of accessible equipment in the field, the Soundbeam, attending,and he will demonstrate the latest version of the instrument.

“We also have developers Brendan McCloskey,Luke Woodbury and Liam Donaghy demonstrating new interfaces which are still in development.”

“Other contributors include: Professor Lizbeth Goodman,UCD Chair of Creative Technology Innovation, Dr Michelle McCormack, Director of the Drake Music Project in Northern Ireland and Sophia Alexandersson, Director of Share Music Sweden.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy performances of music from disabled artists including The Plantin, a band from Foyleview School, who will perform on the Friday and The Wired Ensemble from the Drake Music Project on the Saturday.

Professor Lyons added:“Connected Health andInclusiveCreativity research at the University of Ulster has two main strands:firstly, we have devised and tested original practical methodologies aimed at maximising the potential offered by new technologies in the creation and performance of new work by musicians with disabilities.

“Secondly, we are designing new interfaces for music composition and performance, aimed specifically at musicians with cerebral palsy.

“People with physical disabilities have severely restricted access to many activities and aspects of daily life: physical, educational, social, leisure etc.

“Creative and leisure activities are therefore arguably more important, offering opportunities for socialisation, group participation and self-expression.

“Methodologies derived from the research outlined above,grant the disabled user enhanced independence and expressivity in a creative context, thereby allowing disabled musicians greater access to creative activities, and self-expression in music composition and performance.”

For further information or to register to attend please contact Professor Frank Lyons by email by telephone at02871675138.

Professor Frank Lyons is available for interview

Media enquiries:

Audrey Watson

Media & Corporate Relations

University of Ulster

T:028 90366386