Thursday, 1 April 2021

A Life In Music: Kris Halpin. Massive obstacles, irrepressible creativity

A flat-out refusal to give up and stop, no matter what the obstacles.

Welcome to another edition of Lives in Music. I've been talking on the associated Lives in Music podcast with Kris Halpin, who also trades as Dyskinetic. And the Winter of 82. You can jump to the podcast here, or scroll down to the embedded player lower down in this post. 

You might be wondering what those things are on his hands? Well, they're MiMu Gloves: gyroscopically-controlled midi control units that allow users to make music by gesture alone. 

Kris is known for his work with the MiMu gloves, which were created by Imogen Heap. They are extraordinary things. The initial concept was to allow performers to dispense with musical instruments on stage and to then create a new way of performing. Dramatic? Yes? Impactful? Certainly. 

Creativity. Disability.

But there's another factor that informs Kris and his work, and that is disability. It led Kris to his involvement with the gloves, as he sensibly pointed out how useful they could be to Drake Music, who work with Imogen Heap on enabling musicians with disabilities. 

They promptly took him on as an artistic associate to help with their research, specifically with the gloves. 

In this podcast, Kris deals with his disability – a very serious disability, which absolutely won't go away - with jaw-dropping openness, and I am hugely grateful. 

But there's an awful lot more. Kris has a very clear eye on his situation, and it turned out to be a jaw-dropping conversation. Here's Kris at Abbey Road.


Kris Halpin's website and Bandcamp page
MiMu Gloves  
Drake Music    
Imogen Heap  

The latest single - March 2021

The podcast

The Lives in Music Podcast  
These are interviews with local musicians, looking at how music has shaped 
them throughout their lives. Series 3 also looks hard at how lockdown has had 
an impact. There are some lovely stories. 

To see who's in the list of artists, here's a link to see every episode.

One further footnote: the intro and outro guitar flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo Fletcher, who is also featured, with Loz Lozwold (aka Kingsley), in a podcast in this series. I asked Vo for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.

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