Song Forge

Our adult group of advanced musicians who write, perform and record their own music.

‘OmniMusic means the world to me as I have always wanted to be in a music group!’ Participant, 2018

Our inclusive music making projects give everyone an opportunity to be creative and enjoy the social aspects of group music making using Assistive Music Technology.

Working in close partnership with disability support services, assisted living schemes and adult community groups, we bring together disabled musicians to learn more about music and song writing.

Throughout weekly workshops, Omnimusic’s specialist tutors lead group activities introducing key musical concepts of performing and composition through fun musical games, group discussions and improvisation. Participants lead the artistic direction, choosing a theme or narrative for their music.

In addition to group music-making workshops, we can offer 1:1 creative sessions to any participants who show a particular interest in or need for more focussed and bespoke music-making. We will support individuals like this to pursue any ambitions of composing, recording or performing their own music, or work with them individually until they feel ready to join a group activity.

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Previous projects

Smokey City

Smokey City was written by a group from Disability Stockport in 2019. It describes working conditions in Stockport’s grimey mills and factories, with hundreds of chimneys belching out smoke and soot. A far cry from Stockport today where, of course, the sun shines every day and it hardly ever rains…!

During the performance you see and hear many innovative pieces of technology being used – some of it mainstream, some of it highly specialist. The percussion track in the piece is made up of pots and pans from the venue’s kitchen, as well as other bits and pieces we found lying around, with which we had great fun banging, hitting and recording during one particular workshop. The group also came up with the words to be projected and played out during the performance, with the projections and audio being triggered by Robert. The sounds of the words are the participants’ own voices recorded and then put through a vocoder.

As Time Goes By

The inspiration for this piece came from Carol, who wrote some of the words, sang and played the fiddle with a Midi Creator.

This piece opened the concert and we thought it would be a nice thing for everybody to introduce themselves and play a solo so people in the audience could hear the instrument they were playing. Knowing which member of the band is playing which instrument may not be immediately obvious to the audience when specialist sensors and switches are being used!

During the performance we also had images being projected onto a large screen behind the musicians. These images were chosen by the members of the group and reflected the imagery conveyed by the words of the song. Helen was in charge of triggering the images using a wireless switch and did a great job in making sure they they appeared on the screen at the right time during the song!

Helen Alton – Vocals and Moog synthesiser & saxophone on iPhone (or Sax iPhone!)

Julie Blake – Vocals and cello on iPad

Carol Boyd – Vocals, violin on Midi Creator and lyrics

Steven Lidster – Vocals and Saxophone on SoundBeam

Natalie Reeve – Vocals and piano

Robert Smith – Flute on Midi Creator, visuals

Nina Stark – Lead Vocals

Doug Briggs – Keyboard

Andy Boothman – Vocals and conductor

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Mad as a Hatter

by Song Forge

As time goes by

by Song Forge