30 Nov 2020
by bronwyn-hope | News
Since 2017, Fenestra has been working to bridge the gap between visually-impaired musicians and the world of electronic music creation. The Latvian initiative was founded by NGO Artes Liberales, which works to promote the importance of music and in societies and in the holistic development of people. Synthlab, in Riga, Latvia, acts as the initiative's main hub, hosting events, workshops, and assembling working synth systems.
Globally, 405.5 million people have some level of visual impairment and 36 million are completely blind. It is no secret that when you experience a loss of one sense, other senses are heightened. It is believed that blind children are 4000 times more likely to have perfect pitch than those who can see. This connection between the visually-impaired and music is undeniable.
Fenestra sees the intrinsic link and is working to create a more accessible industry where the visually-impaired are able to create and inspire, living up to their full potential.
Fenestra is working with synthesizer manufacturers, resellers, and other collectives to present the unique needs, requirements, and shed light on the possible challenges the visually-impaired may encounter when attempting to produce music on current commercial synthesizers. They are also working first hand with visually-impaired musicians, hosting workshops and events that will provide them with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate their way through the industry.
The first Fenestra workshop took place back in September. During the workshop, attendees worked with visually-impaired artist, Darkside and explored the desktop modular synth Pico System III. All attendees left the workshop with the Pico System III as a parting gift.
Fenestra is always looking for support. You can help by donating used instruments, synths, and gear you no longer need, provide financial support, or get the word out about their artists and initiative!