The Beauty of Music – Communication and Creativity

I arrived early at Touchbase this morning, as it was my first day working with the music team. I got an introduction of the ethos of the music sessions, along with previous projects and sessions that had taken place, both with individuals and groups.


The images above are from sense scotland’s Twitter feed, and show the Touchbeats at their most recent performance at the CCA. The instruments they played were created by the group from recycled materials and during the show light projections were used to highlight the movement and beauty of the instruments. I was put in mind of Theo Jansen’s Kinetic sculptures.

As well as the work of Diet Weigman and Tim Noble and Sue Webster

I’ve not had the chance to watch the touchbeats perform yet (or have a go on their amazing kinectic-sculpture-eco-friendly-accesible-magic-instument-machines) BUT I have tickets to see them live at the Sense Christmas Concert, held at the City Chamber halls this on the 4 December. Although I don’t think these instruments will be featuring in the concert, I really want to hear the kind of music the TouchBeats are creating, a well as ask them about their methods of collaboration and creative process. Although, maybe not at the christmas concert – let’s leave all of that for after the mince pies and mulled wine!

First off I joined in an individual session with one of the service users at sense. We had a good chat about the music he was into, and ended up jamming to some 80s hits. He had grown to love the tracks we were listening to as he was a DJ at Falkirk ice rink during this era. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and it was good to know that ABBA was still very popular outside of the art department. Although I played music extensively before I moved to Glasgow, since starting my degree I have slowly lost confidence in my abilities. However, drumming along simple beats began to build my confidence a little and eventually I really got into the music. What an excellent way to start the day!

The second session was a group session and I hadn’t met any of the participants before. The different instruments and how they were used was really interesting to watch. I ended up sitting next to one participant and holding her hand throughout most of the session. She wasn’t so keen to join in, mainly she watched, but when I ran the brushes of a drum-brush over her hands she seemed to enjoy the sensation. I was reminded once again of the importance of touch as a sense. Not forgetting, of course, that sound is just vibrations that touch your ears. There were two participants who were deafblind and who seemed to be fully engaged in and enjoying the sounds and instruments around them. Proof that it’s never worth writing something of as inaccessible to a particular individual!

For a wee introduction to music at Sense, have a look at this video.


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