We are delighted to announce that Matthew Wright is one of three new trustees to join the OHMI Board.
Matthew is a senior lecturer at the University of Southampton. He joined the University’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research first as an undergraduate and PhD student, before becoming a research fellow and currently senior lecturer. As such, he researches sound and vibration in all its forms, from aircraft noise, audiology and signal processing, to how to improve acoustics in teaching spaces and meeting rooms.
Matthew’s professional life presents the perfect opportunity to combine a love of science and music. He had always been a keen amateur musician on the piano and violin, and enjoys playing one-handed concertina for Morris dancing. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis in his twenties means that he has an innate understanding of some of the frustrations faced by musicians living with a progressive muscular weakness.
Dr Stephen Hetherington, OHMI’s Chairman, comments,
“We’re delighted to welcome Matthew to OHMI’s Board. He has exceptionally strong intellectual and practical skills, demonstrated by his research, publications and the wide range of instruments he plays or has adapted. As OHMI's core mission is the provision of high-quality instruments for people with physical impairments, his contribution will be invaluable.”
“Instruments that can be played with one hand should not be considered out of the ordinary. In fact, the pipe and tabor used in Morris dancing – one of the oldest instruments in the world – were each designed to be played one handed (allowing the musician to play both instruments simultaneously).
I’d like to help extend OHMI’s work to bring even more one-handed musical instruments into the mainstream; particularly in the classroom. I’m a technologist so I am, of course, attuned to how adaptations to musical instruments affect the quality of sound. I’m also a disabled person so equally as important is breaking down barriers relating to attitudes; in particular, making sure that adapted instruments are not only technically capable of being played, but are also regarded as serious instruments by the music community.”
All at OHMI extend their warmest welcome to Matthew.
The article on fellow new trustee Claire Salters can be accessed here. The article on our third new trustee, Emma Brown, will be published in due course.