This project came out of the blue as far I was concerned, but I’m very glad that I was a part of it and I hope that I’ll continue to be.

Sound Lab is a project from a charity called Heart n Soul, which works with people with learning disabilities in helping them to develop and express their creative talents. The project itself was part of a larger event that Heart n Soul runs each year called the Beautiful Octopus club which is held at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.

The aim of the project was to use mobile technology to encourage creativity for any level of creativity and also to allow users to work together in small groups of up to three people.

We used a range of iPad apps on 7 iPads in three relatively distinct configurations. The first was a singing station where you could sing over a number of loops and dramatically effect your voice using a custom max4live patch controlled by MIRA. The second was an ambient station where we had two iPads that had apps like Bloom and Aeolian Harp allowing two users to create an ambient texture together. The third was our band station where we had three iPads, one with Loopseque for beats, iKaosilator for bass type synth sounds and the third with beebot.

All three stations were equally popular and we found that users of all abilities seemed to enjoy the process of just making music interactively.

Sound Lab was an experiment, but one that worked very well in the end and Heart n Soul have decided that they want to continue this work and take it further and run the configuration in different settings.

I hope that I can continue to be a part of it as I personally learnt a lot from the experience, and I also had a great time designing it and working in the Sound Lab at the Beautiful Octopus Club.

If you’re interested in seeing some pictures and a bit more detail I’ve posted about getting the Sound Lab all set up at Palm Sounds, and also about the initial workshops in these two posts, ‘having fun in Sound Lab‘, and ‘Sound Lab, making it work‘.

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