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Designing Inclusive Interactions 2016


In 2016 Performance without Barriers continued its research into the design, development and use of accessible digital musical instruments. Six music technologists collaborated with four young disabled musicians in a design project that extended over six months, avoiding the tight time constraints present the previous year. 

The design process began with a series of workshops held over three days, with the intention of discovering the musicians’ unique aesthetic and access requirements of their instruments. The music technologists then spent a further two days developing physical prototypes, that were subsequently shown to the musicians for initial feedback. This iterative cycle of development and evaluation continued for approximately three months. At this stage, the musicians began using the instruments rehearsing for a showcase performance, which took place in November 2016 at the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music. 

Alongside the design project, an international networking meeting for partners, working in the areas of inclusive music making, digital design, disability and well-being. It took place on 10th June 2016. 


  • Meabh Bradley 
  • Roybn McBride 
  • Hannah Uprichard 
  • Brendan McCloskey 
  • Conor Tehan 
  • Ben Holmes 
  • Shane Byrne 
  • Franziska Schroeder 
  • Koichi Samuels 


The Drake Music Project Northern Ireland 

Research Outputs 

Performance without Barriers: Improvising Accessible Digital Musical Instruments. Koichi Samuels and Franziska Schroeder. Contemporary Music Review. 2019.

A video overview, containing excerpts from the final performance at Sonorities.