Written by Si Tew, Digit Music

The Tech4Good awards in 2019 has been so transformative for Digit Music that it is hard to know where to begin. We are still a very young company and when we entered the awards our staff totalled one person! After winning the accessibility category sponsored by Microsoft, we now have a great team in place as well as some wonderful advisors. We have agreed partnerships with nationally recognised arts organisations as well as being engaged in commercial discussions with leaders of industry. A number of these achievements can be traced directly back to support received from the Tech4Good awards, so I really cannot praise them enough. If you are thinking of applying yourself, or nominating someone else, then please do it!

Here is a little bit about Digit Music.

We designed Control One, an adapted wheelchair joystick that enables users to compose and perform music using industry standard tools and techniques. We deliver workshops, curate performances and through our ‘Young Creative Entrepreneur’ apprenticeship, we can help turn a passion into lasting and meaningful work in the commercial creative industries.

In the last 6 months our musicians have performed for TechShare Pro at Google’s London HQ, we have given a TEDx presentation and performance in the Dominican Republic, and most recently our technology was used by the Able Orchestra to perform with the BBC Philharmonic and Halle Orchestras as part of the Association Of British Orchestras conference.

There have been some wonderful successes, but we are writing this in a very different world to the one we knew only a few months ago. Although this pandemic will pass and we will once again be able to spend time with our friends and family, certain working practices, forced on us by Covid-19, will become the norm and the creative and economic landscapes will shift. How much, we don’t know, but by being aware and by ensuring that our projects and products can enable accessibility in isolation as well as in the community we hope to ensure that everyone in society can flourish.

Our first Young Creative Entrepreneur apprentice, Jess Fisher, has been using Control One to make music whilst in isolation with her family. She and her musical siblings have been able to play music together, something that Jess has wanted to do for a long time.

“Control One has opened up doors I never thought possible, especially when it comes to playing music with my family. For example, it’s gone from me just watching them play to me actually having an instrument of my own and playing alongside them. What’s been really nice to see is their enthusiasm to want to have a go with the controller to see what they can come up with.

Once the Lockdown is lifted I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Control One, not only as a music artist but also helping others to know and understand more about the instrument and the impact it can have. I look forward to starting the next chapter of my life where I’ll begin an apprenticeship at Digit Music. This will help me grow more in my understanding, not only of Control One but also in business.” Jess Fisher – Able Orchestra

Our aim is to strengthen training opportunities and create clearer, more accessible pathways for young people who are interested in seeking careers in the creative industries, opening up new avenues of work and bringing the creative, cultural and commercial sectors together.

The Tech4Good awards and the wider network of wonderful people that we have met along the way have played no small part in our steps towards our goal and we look forward to seeing what the future brings.