Music Without Boundaries

The Cause

Music is universal. Everyone is affected by its power, and everyone deserves the opportunity to be involved in its creation. The objective of this project is collaboration between adults with developmental disabilities and professional musicians from the Edmonton region. Individuals and musical groups supported by Robin Hood Association will work together with professional musicians in the creation and presentation of original music. Compositions will be rehearsed, professionally recorded and distributed in CD and digital formats. Upon conclusion, all parties will be encouraged to participate in a celebratory album release event. Participants from the Robin Hood community will be actively engaged in all aspects of the project. Shared decision-making, shared project ownership, shared processes and input from all participants will be emphasized throughout.

Formed in 1963, Robin Hood Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high quality, innovative services to people with developmental disabilities. “Music Without Boundaries” will allow adults with disabilities to explore aspects of music that exceed and enhance the scope of regular activities at Robin Hood. Professional musicians will be comprised of Artist Facilitators currently contracted by Robin Hood, and guest musicians from the Edmonton region. Artist Facilitators currently under contract include Mark Davis (Old Reliable, Concealer), Amy van Keeken (The Secretaries, The AwesomeHots) and Tim Balash (Dub Vulture). Twelve guest musicians have been approached to volunteer their time, and several have already committed: Doug Organ (Christian Hansen, Dave Babcock’s Jump Orchestra), James Stewart (Slates), Thom Golub (Le Fuzz, Andrea House), Paul Arnusch (The Wet Secrets), Curtis Ross (Bebop Cortez, Preyers), Tippy Agogo (Amoeba Collective with Bill Bourne) and Nik Kozub (Shout Out Out Out Out). Mr. Kozub has also agreed to engineer the project at The Audio Department.

The intention is to have one professional musician as the principal facilitator for each of twelve album tracks.

Who Will it Benefit?

Those benefitting most from “Music Without Boundaries” will be adults with disabilities fully participating in and experiencing music like never before. Inclusive music creation will elicit outcomes that are unique in their lack of discrimination based on financial, social, mental and physical barriers. The proposed project will involve the participation of the Robin Hood Ensemble (a band, under the guidance of Mark Davis), The Robin Hood Singers (a choir, under the guidance of Amy van Keeken) and the Guitar Class (under the guidance of Tim Balash). Any other enthusiastic individuals will be encouraged to participate. The opportunity to create and record original music will be a significant source of self-expression and pride for the individuals involved, and will no doubt have a positive impact on Robin Hood and the disabled community as a whole. In providing an opportunity to engage with the Robin Hood community, the project will also be an enriching and rewarding experience for professional musicians involved.

Upon completion of the recording, the album and the celebratory release event will be broadly publicized via social media, press releases and mail-outs to local and pan-Canadian press. It is hoped that the project will garner significant media attention, providing a platform for individuals with disabilities to be rightly seen as contributing members of their community, and as artists and musicians who have much to offer and express.

It is also hoped and expected that the recorded album will provide a springboard from which to launch continued, regular live music performances by the Robin Hood community, creating even more opportunities for the individuals involved to connect with audiences and be included and integrated within the larger community.