Abstracts for Inclusive Creativity: Digital Practices (Hearts of STEM 2017) will be added here in the weeks leading up to the event.


Inclusive Creativity: Digital Practice – Keynote Address… My favourite gig! “Four Senses”, Auckland New Zealand

Prof Tony Brooks

Aalborg University, Denmark

In 1999, Denmark’s national television channel, (DR – Danish Radio), reported how viewers of classical music performances were declining. I gave a keynote at the European Film School for invited audience on interactive multisensory feedback supplementing in entertainment with a resulting televised performance with a choir where I created an interactive gesture dynamics system to map conducting hand motions in three volumetric sensors to RGB filtering of animated images to supplement the singing. As a result of social media on the performance, I was invited by Raewyn Turner, an acclaimed independent multi-sensory artist who was the conceptual artist and director of The Four Senses project, which was funded by Creative New Zealand with support from the Lottery Trusts. We realized four sell out performances of ‘The Four Senses’ at the Dorothy Winstone Theatre (800 seat-capacity). The events targeted access to live classical music performances for the deaf and other impaired audience via multisensory feedback: Thus, supplementing the auditory stimulus generated from the amateur orchestra (which included hearing impaired) and visually impaired songstress, tactile, visuals, and olfactory stimuli were created. Representing other impaired sectors were a signing choir, and a mixed-ability contact improvisation dance company: all amateur status. During the period I also conducted numerous workshops with various representatives from differently-abled sectors to promote the performance events (and for the fun of doing it and to educate what is possible with digital media so others could adopt the strategy). A television crew followed the six-week process to performance, which resulted in a three-part documentary on prime time New Zealand TV (this is now available on YouTube).

In considering a talk for the theme ‘Inclusive Creativity: Digital Practices’ I decided to share this little known event (outside of New Zealand) as it encapsulates the essence as I interpret. In the talk I will offer videos from the event including interviews with deaf audience members and insights into why this event is considered ‘my favourite gig’ as opposed to other events where professional performers were involved. I share this towards stimulating discussions and thought for attendees of the Derry event at Ulster University.



Eva Brooks, Phd


Aalborg University

Xlab: Design, Learning, Innovation

Department of Learning and Philosophy

Aalborg, Denmark

Children are increasingly relying on digital technology for play and learning. Across Europe, many children have access to digital technologies in homes and educational practices from an early age. In Denmark 97 % of children of 3-5 years-of-age attend a preschool, and the municipalities, who govern 72 % of the preschools, are increasingly putting a focus on digitalising play and learning for young children. While the digital age is impacting on the lives of society’s youngest citizens, it is only recently that technologies have been introduced in a wider sense to younger children’s education. However, as yet, the technology has merely been considered as a supplement, rather than a resource with qualities that can enhance and renew a pedagogical practice. This is problematic, as there is an urgent societal need for people to develop the skills and knowledge required to navigate in a complex technological world. On the other hand, creativity and production are considered as important elements of young children’s play, learning and development. Children are engaged in reading, writing and creating multimodal designs across a range of screen-based and traditional media in homes and educational practices.

This presentation introduces and critically reflects upon some key challenges and open issues targeting the creation of new pedagogies and learning environments where arts and technology are integrated to foster inclusion, digital literacy and creativity in early years play and learning activities. By inclusion, it is stressed that digital literacy and creativity should enable all children to create artefacts in specially-designed spaces.


Using a Digital Environment to Stimulate Physical World Interaction and Communication: Inclusive Arts and STEAM

Luke Woodbury

“I will be talking about some of the projects that I have worked on and covering some of the techniques I use for inclusive arts and STEAM based sessions. I will also be covering some of the engagement I have had with research projects based on music technology, using a digital environment to stimulate physical world interaction/communication and the role of embedded devices in SEN education.”



Strategies for developing compositional and performance tools for musicians in the context of assistive technology using Csound

Shane Byrne

Maynooth University, Ireland

This paper discusses some strategies for developing compositional and performance tools for musicians in the context of assistive technology. It discusses how the musical programming language Csound can be used to develop instruments that are designed specifically around the individual musician’s needs and tastes. This includes not only the design of software instruments but also the hardware interfaces that are used to interact with the software. This article will also address the methodologies employed when running Csound on embedded computing devices such as the Intel Galileo and provide a case study of a recent build that was completed on behalf of The Drake Music Project.



Walking with Crickets (soundwalk)

Lisa Hall

Walking with Crickets is a sound walk and a method to explore the city carrying recordings of cricket song while walking through the local area, to investigate boundaries of sound, audibility and relationships in space and of self. The sound walk is a digital re-enactment of an old audio trend that originated in China in around 900AD – a fashion for carrying live crickets concealed in one’s clothing for enjoyment of the cricket song. This audio practice can be seen as an early form of a mobile music player, one that creates a sound zone around the wearer that is to be heard in accompaniment with one’s surroundings. The cricket song becomes a sonic lens and measure though which we can investigate our relationships with our surroundings, others and ourselves. For this activity, participants are invited to experience and contemplate the act of carrying cricket song through the immediate environs of Derry / Londonderry on a 30 minute sound walk. The activity will include a short talk introducing the history of the practice and the proposition for the cricket song as a tool of investigation, the session will end with a short discussion to share experiences.