Launch of the new Mini Rigs – The Mini Rigs Collection

The Mini Rigs Collection: what every Rig should be wearing this season.

May we present our four new Mini Rigs!
1. The Water Gong and Victorian Tin Bath Mini Rig
2. The Rhythm Mini Rig
3. The Telephone Mini Rig
4. The Bells, The Bells!!!
These 4 new Mini Rigs were generously funded by the fabulous people at Arts Council England to help us develop The Rig to be accessible to all.  We designed the Mini Rigs so they can be played by wheelchair users and small children and have tried to cater for people with differing disabilities, for example creating booklets with large print, braille, and pictures with describing words. We have created drum beaters that have foam handles and have one Mini Rig (The Bells, The Bells!!!) which can be played with your hands for those with limited motor co-ordination. We have a small metal bucket version of the Victorian Tin Bath which can be lifted into the lap, and we can unscrew the blue buckets from the side of The Rhythm Rig to be placed on the laps of those in wheelchairs.
On our Bells Mini Rig, the notes on the sheet music matches the colour of each bell so you can just play your ‘colour’ if you don’t read music. We have also numbered the coloured bells to help those with colour blindness.
The Rhythm Rig
We have once again tried to get some sciency bits in, ‘sneaky education’ styleee as Becky likes to call it, by having booklets about sound waves and the science behind how we hear, as factoids for people to tell each other through the Telephone Mini Rig. Our new Water Gong Mini Rig shows how sound waves travel in water and our Victorian Tin Bath shows how sound travels and amplifies in metal.
Last but definitely not least we have The Rhythm Mini Rig as a good ‘ole bang along bit, cos every Rig should have a blue drum!
We dare you not to learn something from this!!
Many thanks to Marie-Cecile Embleton for superb photos as always and exceptionally quick editing. To Stefan Cuthbert Baker and Clare Louise Greenaway for the loan of the studio lights. A big shout out to Mick Simmons for helping us with this project and for being on the receiving end of many a phone call that goes something like, “Can we use yacht varnish on stainless steel to make it scratch proof” at 8.30am in the morning. Suzanne Bull and Gideon from disability charity Attitude is Everything for all their friendly help, advice and education. Our Occupational Therapist friend, Tai Frater for her help and advice. Ray at Sunshine International Arts for being so lovely and hiring out his studio for the photoshoot. Our flatmates for putting up with us turning our houses into Rig workshops over the last three weeks and all our other amazing friends and family for all their help and encouragement. We hope you all get to come and play on the Mini Rigs very soon!
The Bells, The Bells!!!
Lastly, people have asked us if making The Rig suitable for wheelchair users and those with disabilities is the way we are going forward with this project i.e turn it exclusively into a music disability project and the short answer is no.
We believe that music (and life) should be accessible for all and it is society that needs to change to allow those with disabilities to interact as easily as those without disabilities do. This is called the Social Model of Disability and we suggest you have a quick Google of this concept. This is something we have learnt about during our journey and by making our Mini Rigs accessible for all, we are taking our own small steps in improving our social world. We welcome any suggestions on how we can improve what we have already done.

If you would like any information on The Rig or how you can go about making your own unique projects suitable for those with disabilities etc, please do get in touch, we are much more ‘copyleft’ than ‘copyright’ type people, so please, do contact us and we’d be very happy to chat to you and share our learning.

Ducks in water