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10 Musicians With Disability To Get Their Sound On With COVID Restart Grants

Music created using eye-controlled music software, a new EP from a punk rock band of musicians with intellectual disability, and songs co-created by hospitalised kids and musicians with chronic illness are just some of the projects which will be produced through a new program supporting musicians with disability in NSW.

Sound On is an initiative of Accessible Arts which is providing grants of up to $6000 for musicians who identify as d/Deaf or disabled or who have a chronic illness or mental health condition.

Funded through Create NSW’s Arts Restart program, 10 applicants have been selected to take part in the program which aims to support musicians with disability to get back on track following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the music industry.

The musicians – who live across Sydney and Central Coast – will use the funding to create and record new music and develop their careers as professional musicians. All projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2021.

Accessible Arts Interim CEO Morwenna Collett: “We’re incredibly excited to be working with such a wonderfully talented and diverse group of musicians.

“Artists with disability already have a range of professional barriers to contend with – such as discrimination, access issues and negative attitudes – so we’re very pleased to be providing some specific assistance to help them recover from the impact that COVID has had on their lives.

“It’s also great that the distinctive and compelling creativity of musicians with disability will be nurtured through this initiative and that audiences across NSW will have more opportunities to enjoy the diverse richness of their music and performance.”

Check out the Projects

Click here to check out the Spotify Playlist featuring many of the works created through this valuable program.

About the Artists

Jessica Irwin | Umina, NSW Central Coast
Jessica is a musician, photographer and website developer who co-created eye-controlled music software which allows movement-restricted users such as herself to compose music and perform live. Through Sound On, Jessica – who lives with cerebral palsy – will team up with composer and producer Steve Balbi to rework their composition Moving On, release it as a single and then perform several shows.

The Swamp Dogs | Hornsby, Sydney
Established in 2018 through Studio ARTES, The Swamp Dogs – Jeremy McClintock, Hamish Vaughan, Angus Sainsbury and Guy Fredericks – are a punk rock band with a difference as all the band members live with intellectual disabilities. Through Sound On, The Swamp Dogs will record their very first EP featuring four original songs followed by a launch party at Redfern’s 107 Projects.

Luke Escombe | Avalon, Sydney
Luke is an award-winning songwriter, musician and comedian who strongly believes that music and creativity can play a transformative role in healthcare, education and society. Through Sound On, Luke will run a program that teams up hospitalised kids with chronic illnesses with acclaimed songwriters with similar lived experience of chronic illness to write and record original songs together.

Breanna Jones | Redfern, Sydney
Breanna fronts misery pop five-piece band Library Siesta who make loud, sad, melodic indie-rock that explores the darker side of what it is to be human. Through Sound On, Library Siesta will record their second 12-track album with the help of producer/engineer Ryan K. Brennan.

Jacob Pearson | Darlinghurst, Sydney
Jacob is an accomplished singer/songwriter and one half of modern electro pop duo PLGRMS alongside producer/songwriter Jonathan Bowden. Through Sound On, PLGRMS will record. mix, master and release their second EP.

Daniel Pash | Ashfield, Sydney
Daniel is a singer, guitarist, songwriter and a member of Sydney indie trio Reality Instructors. Through Sound On, Reality Instructors will release and promote a new 5 track EP which explores the final stages of Daniel’s hearing loss and what is possible in the areas of song writing and recording when faced with the limitations imposed by profound deafness.

Martha Marlow | Waverly, Sydney
Martha is a singer/songwriter who crafts original songs that are filled with vulnerability and hope. Martha’s work has been shaped by her experience of living with disability which includes a rare autoimmune condition, limited mobility and chronic pain. Through Sound On, Martha will release her debut album Medicine Man with the support of a national publicist, business advisor and music industry coach.

To find out more about the Sound On initiative please visit:


Image Description: Black and white photos of people of diverse age, gender and cultural backgrounds in various settings

The words SOUND and ON are stacked in a white font in capital letters with a lime green sound wave on either side of the word ON. The letter O in ON is a power on icon.   Accessible Arts logo  create nsw logo