Welcome to my site my name is Tom Smurthwaite. I am a musician, singer/songwriter, poet, recording engineer/producer, performer, technician, inventor and creative bodger. Since 2000 I have been working with people who have profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Music is a language that crosses geographic boundaries and requires no training to be able to understand. Playing music however requires some physical ability and can be a difficult skill to master, further alienating those who already find coordination and communication difficult.
Somehow I was drawn to this group of people and started researching ways that they could be included in creative music making. This journey has led me from Soundbeam through interactive camera technologies to the Xbox Kinect with a lot of bouncing on inflatables along the way. I designed and developed an interactive environment called The Music Gym, a place where movement triggers sounds and images to engage people with complex needs.
On this site you’ll find descriptions of ideas that work, ideas and people who inspire me and probably some of my rants about the way people with disabilities are treated. I hope you find something useful here, you are very welcome.