So who and what is Skoogmusic? Skoogmusic is a new venture founded by Dr Benjaman Schogler and Dr David Skulina. We want to make playing music more accessible. We make new musical instruments, new ways of playing music and instruments that make it easier to take part in music making. Music is more than just a bit of background noise, or an MP3 file, it is something we DO together, Music is part of everyone – Skoogmusic – music FOR everyone.
A few years ago some professors (and some less famous academic mammals like myself) at the University of Edinburgh; Dave Lee, Murray Campbell, Colwyn Trevarthen and Nigel Osborne sat in an office (F14 in the psychology department to be precise) and mused over creating a new musical instrument. Expressivity in music lies in the way the musician moves to create sounds in combination with the natural physics of the instrument itself. If we can harness the mathematics of an instrument as a sound source and ground this in the psychology of how our bodies create and control movement, then we could create a new musical instruments. Instruments that are designed to work with our bodies, as opposed to instruments we have to train our bodies to work with…..
At the same time educators around Scotland were discussing the positive impact of Music in education, not just for the arts but as a basis for lifelong learning and creativity. The need for an instrument that could be played by children unable to play traditional musical instruments was identified. The scientists teamed up with the educators and with the help of NESTA they rolled up their sleeves and set to work.