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Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009
New iMuse studio in memory of Rob Luke
Rob Luke
Rob was a passionate composer and musician

A new facility that uses sound and light projections to help people with complex needs has been named in memory of a North East teenager.

Rob Luke, from Crook, took his own life in 2007 at the age of 19.

His family have raised money to help fund a studio at the Linskill Centre, in North Shields, which uses sensors to put disabled users in control of computer imagery and music.

Rob's dad, Brian, said it was a fitting tribute to his son, who loved music.


Rob studied music at Newcastle University and composed and performed his own songs.

Since his death, his family have produced several CDs of his music for charity.

Brian said: "In his final message to us he said will you please do something with my music.

"Since his loss we've tried our best to carry out that wish.

"The Rob Luke iMuse studio, I think, is a fitting memorial to my son.

"His life was music and it's wonderful to see his name associated with something so worthwhile."

Super-sensitive sensors

Brian and his daughter, Katie, entered the 2009 Great North Run to raise money - and Rob's music was used as part of BBC One's coverage of the race.

Phil Ellis from the University of Sunderland explains how the technology works

Altogether, the Lukes have raised around £3,000 to help fund the studio at North Shields - which cost £14,000 in total.

A plaque in the shape of a CD and bearing Rob's name will be displayed by the door.

The studio has been set up by the Percy Hedley Foundation, with the assistance of the iMuse research centre at the University of Sunderland.

The iMuse technology uses sensors that can be triggered by movements as small as the blink of an eye.

This means even people with profound and complex needs can experience being in control of the music and visuals.

Marie Watts, services manager for Able 2 adult services, part of the Percy Hedley Foundation, said it helps to empower people:

"It allows the individual to take control of the environment. It's all about control and empowerment," she said.


Marie said the technology was also motivating for staff, as it enabled them to get instant feedback from the people they assist.

Brian Luke
Brian said the studio was a 'fitting memorial' to his son

"When you're supporting people with profound multiple needs there can sometimes be very little feedback so we're continually looking for ways to motivate the staff teams - and they are very, very motivated by this.

Marie hopes the studio will be used by other people in the local community too and by other groups at the Linskill Centre.

Use the links on the right to find out more about Rob Luke and the iMuse studio.

iMuse studio in teenager's memory
23 Nov 09 |  People & Places

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