Technology, design and ease of use: ODLA is this and much more. Inspired by Kemonia River’s social approach towards art and culture, ODLA aims to be a tool to facilitate also the experience of visually impaired or blind musicians.
When our family laid the foundations of Kemonia River – which was co-founded by Renato, Alessandro and Massimiliano Pace – the idea was to create a laboratory in which to nourish the contamination between art and society and serve as a common ground for our personal experience.
In 2016, a slight change in our vision occurred: we started investing in new technologies and new artistic languages with the aim of intercepting people’s needs with an approach oriented towards innovation.
ODLA somehow synthesizes Pace family’s backgrounds and personalities: Renato and Alessandro are both active in theatrical and cinematographic writing and in music teaching; while Massimiliano, he is engaged in social services. An eclecticism and openness that led to the creation of ODLA, a keyboard for the digital writing of music that is also fully accessible to visually impaired or blind musicians.
ODLA was initially a plugin designed to support one of our colleagues, a blind musician, to use a music composition software. The matter of the accessibility of these tools by disabled people, in addition to being not widely debated, is also partially addressed by hardware/software manufacturers.
This is why we decided to face the issue directly and create ourselves an interface between the user and the software; ODLA is therefore designed to limit the use of the mouse and simulate the writing experience on the traditional (paper) staff. Its embossed staff, which is the distinctive trait of the device, introduces a tactile approach to musical writing, which favors visually impaired or blind musicians, but actually adapts to any type of user: professionals, students or enthusiasts.
In the future, we intend to develop new versions of ODLA, adding features that will make the device more effective for each type of user. Musicians, visually impaired or not, are at the main focus of our research: our goal is to facilitate – and make as natural as possible – the digital writing of music.
With Kemonia River, in general, and ODLA, in particular, we intend to make art and creativity accessible to all, while preserving our artistic proposal in terms of quality and innovation.