Oh hi, you’re new here? Okay, the headlines so far:
- Born with CP after being injured during birth, I got off to a wobbly start.
- Growing up in a tiny little village, I was the target of much prejudice. I was token disabled kid, but in my head I was gonna grow up to be a rockstar. I’d show ’em all when I grew up.
- I discovered heavy metal and electric guitars around the age of 10 and had my plans for world domination all mapped out to the soundtrack of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Pantera.
- Britpop happened in my teens, and took me and my guitar with it.
- I played in bands well into my 20s, and eventually grew into an acoustic guitar wielding solo singer songwriter.
- My career was going okay despite the obvious access barriers of getting around and getting onto stages and stuff like that. Around 2013 I began to notice (but tried to ignore) that my CP was impacting on my guitar playing. I was really beginning to struggle to perform live, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I thought my career was coming to an end.
- I reached out to a charity called Drake music, who work primarily with technology to make music making more accessible to disabled people.
- Drake musics resident technologist Gavin Hewitt took a keen interest in my songs and we talked a lot about how I could continue making music moving forward. At the time, I struggled to connect with the concept of accessible music technology.
- Drake music begin talking to Imogen Heap’s team about a revolutionary new MIDI controller that seemed like Science Fiction. The mimu gloves were a wearable technology developed to help Imogen perform electronic music in a more gestural and expressive way. Quite by accident, gallon and I could see that she and her team had invented an extraordinary piece of accessible music technology.
- Drake music purchased a pair of Mimi gloves for me to use and be one of the first people ever to use this new technology, with only 15 pairs made public at this time.
- I began reimagining my guitar and piano led back catalogue for this new and incredible instrument, and eventually put together a live show entitled the gloves are on.
- After a successful UK tour in collaboration with disability charity attitude is everything and independent venue week, the phone kept ringing.
- With TV newspaper and radio appearances, the buzz around my work continue to grow, as did the show.
- Originally scheduled for one week, I toured the gloves on for 18 months internationally which shows all over the UK and Europe and the final performance at the Kennedy Centerin Washington DC in summer 2017.
- I ended the tour, somewhat on a high but also with a need to reimagine and reinvent the music I was making with this new technology.
And that, is how we got here…