FUNDING TO HELP EYEGAZE USERS LEARN HOW TO DJ AND PRODUCE MUSIC
CURRENT FUND LEVEL: £250
Who is DJ 3RN1?
This fund is in memory of Ernestas Stancius aka DJ 3RN1 an eyegaze DJ and Producer.
Ernestas was completely paralysed after an accident and was supported by a ventilator. He made the decision, after 4 years, to withdraw from ventilation support.
He died peacefully on the 22nd Feb 2020.
What is the fund?
This fund has been started from donations left over from a Go fund me fundraiser in which we bought the latest studio equipment for 3RN1. All profits from 3RN1's tracks will also be put into this fund.
Who is the fund for?
This fund is to offer training to eyegaze users or their teachers/1-2-1 in how to produce music with their eyes
How do I donate or apply?
If you want to donate to this fund, or offer equipment or software to enable others to learn how to use their eyes to compose and produce music - email me
If you or somebody you know would like to apply for this fund to learn how to compose music or DJ with their eyes, or are a teacher who would like to learn. Click here
DJ 3RN1, Eyegaze and Music
I worked with Ernestas Stancius aka DJ 3RN1 for 2 years. Ernestas's speech and language therapist put me in touch with him, saying he was interested in DJing. He had been on a ventilator for 4 years after a motorcycle cash and was completely paralysed and could only move his eyes in order to communicate. He was motivated to DJ house music when I met him and it was exciting to come up with ideas and strategies about how he could access software like DJ PRO with his eyes. Over those 2 years he learnt to DJ and He did some live DJ sets. He then wanted to actually produce music with his eyes. I taught him Fruity Loops and made him Grid overlays (these work as an interface between the eye controller and software) so that he could control commercial software solely with his eyes. This would be no different to using a mouse - just a different way of interaction. He quickly developed a huge talent for producing darkwave electro and EDM - he picked up how to harmonise, make beats and arrange - and learnt plenty from his own motivation through watching youtube videos.
As 3RN1 was just using a bluetooth speaker to hear his mixes - we set up a fundraiser to get him some studio gear. We raised around £1500 which was astonishing. So we bought some Kali speakers, NEXUS (a next generation software synth) and other plug ins - and then set aside some cash to release some records. Companies that make Fruity Loops Studio and DJ Pro. loved what Ernestas was doing + sent us some free software
Creating tracks with Eyegaze
3RN1 picked up music production very quickly and we devised a grid that would help him navigate round the software with his eyes with ease. Each function on the software from choosing sounds, building beats, inputting melodies could be done with his eyes. 3RN1 would email me ideas for his new tracks - and send me draft arrangements - he learnt really quickly how to work with cycles of 4/8 and 16 and get drum build ups for 'the drop' and how to work with melody. He picked up also how to put tracks into 'keys' so that vocals would mix well with instrumentation. He gained so much musical knowledge from being interested in making tracks, and working with a powerful software package - meant that the sounds were modern, the interface was seamless and the interaction between the GRID, Eyegaze control and the software just got better and better. I loved the way he knew what he liked - I'd suggest something about changing the drums but always said 'it's up to you' and he'd keep his choices, or I'd say - that harmony doesn't quite work and he'd want to work with me to make it fit. I loved getting emails from him as they were always 'driven' as in they were focused on the music and - his music is great.
3RN1 released 4 tracks on Spotify called 'FLOW' - moody electro, slightly darkwave and we recruited a designer from Warner records - Toni to design an appropriate logo - based on 3RN1's ideas.
Ernestas was being kept alive by a ventilator. He told me that he had made the decision to switch it off. I can't put in to words the scale of Ernestas's situation. I can say - it was his decision. I wanted his last 2 tracks to be put out there so we worked hard to get those last 2 tracks finalised and put them through - I know he was very proud of them - and they show how brilliant he was as a producer. Ernestas always used to tell me what he wanted - he knew his own mind. I guess I was naive in thinking music would give him a reason to want to live - I now know life is bigger than that, however for a while he was engrossed in the compositions, production and got excited about putting the record out on Spotify. I told him how much respect I have for him and he laughed when I said that he was a punk rock 25 year old - he smiled then typed out on his eyegaze.... '26'. I am so blessed to have been able to see him to say goodbye.
There was £250 left in 3RN1's account from our fundraising. I asked him what he wanted me to do with it - he said 'keep it'. I then knew exactly what I would do with it - start a fund to enable other Eyegaze users who are interested in DJing and Producing to get training and support. Just look at what 3RN1 did in 2 years - hopefully totally inspiring for others!
I am sure this page and way the funds are managed will change and develop, - I have not hired a PR firm or a business strategist for this process, so I hope I expressed myself enough to say I am incredibly honoured to have worked with Ernestas. Since the 22nd I have realised that music wasn't going to make up for everything that Ernestas had to face on a daily basis. However if this fund can show what's possible to a keen future eyegaze music producer... then that's good enough for me...rest in peace 3RN1.