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> > > Interview: Ivan Riches
Ivan Riches

Ivan Riches was recently commissioned by DAO to make video profiles of two Outside In artists as part of the arts Council funded programme Diverse Perspectives. He describes himself as a visual and sonic artist who predominantly uses film, mixed and digital media and painting. Sound and music have always featured heavily in his artistic practice.

Riches recently took up the role of Producer for Drake Music’s Connect and Collaborate London project. In a Skype interview in October, just a few days after he’d been in post he explained “Over the next 2 Years there’s going to be four commissions for disabled artists and musicians to work to create cross-media pieces. For example, some might work with film and music, others would be maybe explore dance and music. That might be working with two curators or artists working in tandem or it might be one working with other disabled people to produce a piece of work.”

The project aims are well summed up in its title. The work is all about making connections and encouraging collaboration. Ivan is keen to help establish a connection with disabled people across London who wish to become involved in music projects and workshops with Drake Music. No matter what age, level of musical ability or physical mobility there are opportunities for everyone in this and other Drake Music projects. Recent innovations in Assistive Music Technology (ATM) have opened up music to people with extremely limited mobility. “Drake specialise in Assistive Music Technology to facilitate access to the experience of playing an instrument. For example the use of iPads and Sound Beam Technology. There are three musicians who are now in the Great British Para orchestra who have worked with Drake Music who now use iPad technology.”
Clearly motivated by this new producing role Riches seeks to reach out to disabled people with an interest in music: “My interest in this role is that I’d be able to facilitate people to make their own creative work. In a producers role I will be setting it up the collaborations, finding participants, and developing partnerships with other organisations.” The ambition for Drake is that the work will lead to “moving more out of niche provision into a community, getting Drake better known as an organisation that does work in partnerships with others.”
Ivan is currently creating a data base of London based Disabled Artist/Musicians who can be contacted when commissions projects and workshops arise. “We need Disabled Artist/Musicians as associates, mentors and volunteers.” If you are interested in getting involved with Drake Music as an Artist/Musician or as a project participant and want to speak with Ivan to find out more please get in touch:

Ivan Riches,
Producer'Connect and Collaborate London'
Drake Music, Rich Mix
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
Tel: 020 7739 5444