Ewen D'aviau : Ewen d'Aviau - Accordion and instrument creator
Ewen d'Aviau - Accordion and instrument creator [ ★ ★ ]
Suffering myself from Dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysmusia, I have been since 2010 several tolls for helping myself to compensate the problems inherent to this particularity and finally build and create musical instruments and modular tools for helpings other people to access music danse and arts in general. I propose also instrument making workshops from 13 years old.
Instruments adapted for the handicapped, composers and special requests.
Saint Nazaire, France
Man has always sought to perfect his art. The field of instrumental making is mainly based on empirical laws, transmitted from teacher to student, making it difficult to make totally custom-made instruments.

The techniques used in instrumental making vary from one field to another and are compartmentalized. Acousticians usually focus on the complex problems that govern the operation of musical instruments, without really worrying about the problems that musicians may encounter.

Finally, the aesthetics and shape of musical instruments, which have evolved over the course of history, do not always take into account the ergonomic aspects linked to musical practice.

My apprenticeship with well recognized Art handcraft mans from different domains (luxury, leather, jewelry, lacquers, drawings and molding , blacksmith, ...) combined with the triple competence of engineer, instrument maker and therapist, I propose to adapt, design or create adapted instruments to the needs of musicians, reached or not of a disability.

I build also a full range of free reeds instruments modular and widely customizable like accordions, bandonions, melodions, concertinas, chromatic stradella and free bass system.
Side Story
->Play with music?

The term "playing music" is sometimes used. Yet when we question a certain number of musicians and look at the statistics published in the last issue of the French journal "La lettre du musicien" on “the French conservatory waste” (ie the people abordting the courses because of musical theory), we really wonder if learning music is really a part of fun!

It is to reconnect with the game that I designed the Octodyna and the Approdeon, with a colored keyboard. The keyboard inspired by the game of Go and its original layout make appearing for each chord or each scale very geometrical patterns as little drawings. Thus, for a Major chord, you will draw with your fingers an "arrow which points upwards", a minor chord will be associated with an arrow which points downwards!

With each musical pattern, a graphic pattern is associated, allowing the musician to have a graphic illustration of the music theory directly on his instrument! Conversely, he can also compose music or improvise by drawing patterns on the keyboard. Some say it: "With the Octodyna, playing music becomes child's play!"

->A naturally transposing colorful keyboard

The idea of ​​the keyboard layout.
The Octodyna's keyboard layout allows for automatic transposition of music: a simple shift of the musician's hand preserves the structure of a scale and chords, without having to relearn a fingering. Your brain always associates the same fingering with the same musical concept which greatly favors the learning of music by ear but also allows an anchoring of musical sensations in an extremely deep way.

For more info on the mathematical design of the keyboard, you can check out next Friday's article.

->The idea of ​​colored buttons.
One of the disadvantages of such an asset is that all the chords look the same if the keyboard is Black and White: this is the main reason why I had the idea of ​​associating each note with a color. The colors then make it possible to differentiate a White Major chord from a Blue Major chord! The drawing is therefore the image of the nature of the chord (Major, minor, 7, ...) and the color fixes a Fundamental (C, D, E, ...). The colorful keyboard therefore integrates two levels of information allowing you to see concretely and visually what is playing under your fingers!

->Using colors as a tablature.
One of the major problems of the musician from the popular tradition is the deciphering of scores. Here we see the second advantage of color! To decipher a score with the Octodyna, you can order your colored scores (which I edit for you) and you compare the colors of the notes with those of the keyboard keys! And in addition you learn music theory without realizing it! Since I have offered this method in conservatories, color is all the rage with children who learn to read music by immersion!

->Use visuals to improvise and compose

For several years now, I have been working on improvised music, which I now also teach to my students and during interventions in schools. Many are the experiences in which I have literally relied on the keyboard of the Octodyna to explain concepts normally taught after 10 years of conservatory to children under 7 years old, who have absolutely no capacity to conceptualize the music theory. During workshops with children it is not uncommon for children to seize the instrument and at the turn of a chance produce a tritonic substitution for example. Normally this concept takes years of practice just to hear it and now these toddlers discover it while exploring the instrument. When they ask me, how could I explain this discovery to them other than through the similarity of the patterns that are involved in this musical process?

The visual is also useful for older children, for example music lovers who play more elaborate or "sophisticated" music, which I would say scholarly, like improvisations on jazz grids. If instead of having to think about “What's the third of the chord coming up in the grid?” It was enough to read it graphically on the keyboard, then all the energy used in thinking would be put into the music! We let the intellect rest and we play!

->To conclude
The Octodyna is an instrument designed for everyone, young and old, lovers of color. It should be remembered that the graphic patterns proposed by the fingering on the Octodyna connect the notes to each other and therefore fix a relative link between the notes (Major or minor pattern) while the colors fix a note and therefore an absolute (a Do for example).

For some, music is a fairly easy art, but for others it is more complex. This is how I dedicate this instrument to all the DYS for whom I had affectionate thoughts throughout the development of the Octodyna as well as in each training session that I give on the subject.
Awards
★ Allie Weber
★ Natalie Zee Drieu : Amazing story about how someone who suffers from dyslexia, dyspraxia and dusmusia could create and make an instrument so that anyone can enjoy playing music. I like that he's going against traditional music theory and giving people true musical enjoyment!
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
My Dyslexia, my dyslorthographia, my dyspraxia and the one of my students over the years
How long did it take to make it?
since 2013, I have develop mainly two new instruments, the octodyna (air blown accordion like instrument) and the approdion (specially accordion design for people having learning diseases.
Making those project take approximately 4 years each
How long have you been doing things like this?
Since 2010, when I start my company after my engineering school.
How much did this cost to do?
I invest more than 80.000 $ in machinery, R&D and luxuary Raw materials .
Have you done other things like this?
I am specialized to create adapted musical instrument suitable for handicap, composition, pedagogy and I have developed 5 new instruments right now.
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
Nothing, otherwise, i think I could be demotivated :)
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
I sell those instrument as well as accordions and accordinas :)
What’s next?
Trying to make this really interesting project moire common and more know in different countries, promote my works about music and musical learning, biomechanics .
Resoures?
I had to make most of the way by myself because the concept is really new. I invest into a lot of machinery and my brain help me a lot to develop special tool helping me producing the Octodyna and Approdéon right now !
Ewen D'aviau : Musical adapted instrument creator
The maker Ewen D'aviau
Saint Nazaire, France
Man has always sought to perfect his art. The field of instrumental making is mainly based on empirical laws, transmitted from teacher to student, making it difficult to make totally custom-made instruments.

The techniques used in instrumental making vary from one field to another and are compartmentalized. Acousticians usually focus on the complex problems that govern the operation of musical instruments, without really worrying about the problems that musicians may encounter.

Finally, the aesthetics and shape of musical instruments, which have evolved over the course of history, do not always take into account the ergonomic aspects linked to musical practice.

My apprenticeship with well recognized Art handcraft mans from different domains (luxury, leather, jewelry, lacquers, drawings and molding , blacksmith, ...) combined with the triple competence of engineer, instrument maker and therapist, I propose to adapt, design or create adapted instruments to the needs of musicians, reached or not of a disability.

I build also a full range of free reeds instruments modular and widely customizable like accordions, bandonions, melodions, concertinas, chromatic stradella and free bass system.
Connect with Ewen D'aviau
How I can help you:
Creation or adaptation of music instruments, luthery workshops and tranverse tools for arts (music, danse, draw and clay modelling)
How you can help me:
By share my work, collaborate or just encourage me :)