Watch the short film, The Gloves Are On, Directed by Lee Cogswell and supported by the PRS Foundation.

Kris Halpin works with Imogen Heap's groundbreaking mi.mu gloves, demonstrating their potential as an accessible musical instrument. Kris is the first artist ever to use this incredible instrument in this context, and has appeared on BBC 1, BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Channel 4 with them, as well as features in both national and regional press.
I'm a singer, a songwriter, a producer and technologist. As well as my own music, I work hard to innovate at the intersection between music and disability. I work with Imogen Heap's groundbreaking mi.mu gloves, furthering their use as accessible music technology. I am a busy workshop leader and keynote speaker on music and disability. I work with music and disability charities Drake Music, Attitude Is Everything and HemiHelp to further enable disabled musicians, and amplify the conversation around music & disability.

Author Archives: KrisHalpin

Cabin Pressure.

*slow, deep breath*

Last night, I had one of the most frightening experiences in my life. It was also one of the most faith (in-fellow-humans) restoring events of my life.

Despite the fact that I fly every few weeks at least, I had a completely unexpected meltdown/panic attack mid-flight. I didn’t know this at the time; I thought it was probably a heart attack. Completely out of the blue. One minute I was fine, the next I thought I was dying. Super intense, gasping for breath, couldn’t feel my arm, sweating and shaking. Thanks to my watch, I had the added paranoia implosion of seeing my heart rate hit 165bpm. It was truly one of the most horrible experiences of my life.

It was also a faith-restoring experience thanks to fellow passengers and the brilliant Flybe crew. A lady called Caroline, a retired flight attendant, came to sit with me, held my hand, and talked me through breathing exercises. She also neatly distracted me in conversation just enough to slow me down. Given the state of my breathing, I think I’d have choked myself out if it wasn’t for her. The Flybe crew were also amazing, as were many other passengers. When it started I was horribly embarrassed; I expected awkward looking away, sneering and sniggering even. Instead I was surrounded by a plane full of kind, concerned, yet reassuring faces. The kindness of strangers is an extraordinarily beautiful thing when it looks you in the eye.

It was in the ambulance that was waiting on the runway (ALL the drama!) that I was told by an ex-Army PTSD survivor and now paramedic that I’d had a panic attack. I was really embarrassed, even disappointed in myself. I push myself, I work crazy hard on huge projects, but I’ve been telling myself that I’m fine, that I’m handling it. To be ambushed by what seemed like a near death experience, because of some underlying anxiety I haven’t noticed… I just felt… silly. I still have no idea where it came from, or why.

So that’s why, despite cringing as I type, I’m putting it on Facebook. I bang a drum on here about freedom of expression, of not staying quiet in the face of issues and stigma, *especially* regarding mental health… and yet my inner narrator is beating me down with all levels of prejudice and stigma. I’ve surprised myself in an unpleasant way; my work has brought about so many deep conversations, often with people I’ve never met, about the stigma attached to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. I despise the “You’re fine; pull yourself together!” schtick, and here I am dishing it out to myself.

So if you’re dealing with anxiety, don’t give the next cruel person who disregards that struggle another second of your time. Even if – *especially* if – that critic is you xx

Welcome, again!

Hi there! I’ve met a lot of new people events across the UK in recent weeks, which means a lot of new visiting this website. Mostly because people are interested in seeing what I’ve been doing gloves, and of course now we have the excellent PRSF funded film (directed by Lee Cogswell) it is a great to introduce people to what I’ve been doing.

But I can’t help notice of course, is that I am not quite as prolific a blogger as I used to be. There is an archive of my older blog post, but the busier I am the less time I have to talk about it via the blog. That is inevitable but particular frustrating, because of course there is so much interesting stuff to tell you about. Part of the problem I’m realising is accessibility. My hand issues continue to be complicated and typing isn’t actively and accessible way of doing things. With that in mind I’m experimenting with voice to text software, which is how you are reading this now. And it seems to be working okay… Even understood that when I said quote “…” It understood that I meant… Oh hang on, no it didn’t… Early days!

So if you are new here, thanks for stopping by and the next two days I’m gonna start catching up on some of the events that I’ve been attending over the last few weeks talking about all the interesting projects that are going on.

BRB!

MTF + Me @ the European Comission!

Wow! What a weekend! I’m in Brussels Airport waiting to head home after what was a really excited time representing Music Tech Fest at the European Commission’s Resarch & Innovation Conference. I was there to talk about MTF and my work, and inevitably, do some close-up glove magic.

This was less ‘live show’ and more ‘show and tell’ – I played through different parts of songs and explained to an eager and transient audience how it all works. I was glad of this set up, as I’m battling a really yucky voice problem this week; I doubt I could sing a full set at the moment.

The reaction to what I was doing was really, really positive! So many kind words, so if you’re reading this because we met yesterday, THANK YOU! It’s easy to forget when I’m hacking and tweaking alone in my studio just how new and different this stuff is. Playing an invisible violin is a neat party piece, and there was no shortage of ooohs and wows at the conference.

It was a bittersweet time too, heading to the very heart of the activity that defines Europe. Arriving in the European District from the UK, seeing Brussels as the centre of what defines the EU, it makes me sad. It makes me angry. I’m sure some of my UK readers don’t want to hear this, but I am unashamedly pro-Europe. The fact the the UK is rejecting all of this is something I’m still wrestling with. There are uncertain times ahead, but for now I’m just incredibly grateful that my work allows me to travel and see so much of Europe, and I can only hope that Brexit doesn’t make that more difficult.

NEWS: National Lottery Award Nomination!

Extraordinary and slightly bemusing news; the show The Gloves Are On is up for a National Lottery Award for Best Arts Project! More deets in the video!

Live In The Studio: That You’ll Never Know

Here’s a runthrough of That You’ll Never Know, as it is in the show. This is a one-take, one-shot warts-n-all kinda deal. Not crazy about the vocals, but I never am…

Proud to be funded by:

My Technology Partners:

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/Kris On Twitter.