Music is for everyone: vibrant collaboration between a modern music venue and a hospital

In 2019, the Périscope worked with psychiatric hospital to organize a series of noise workshops with patients.

In 2007, the Périscope was born in Lyon: a project of a team composed essentially of professional musicians who decided to reallocate an old craft room located in the Perrache district. Twelve years later, after the demolition of the Saint-Paul and Saint-Joseph prisons that faced it, this concert hall is now located in the heart of the peninsula, in a district undergoing major urban transformation.

Since the initiative of the project, the team defends the creation of “innovative” music, which is at the origin of jazz and improvised music, today decompartmentalized between rock, noise, hip hop, electronic and experimental music. With nearly 200 openings per year, the Périscope’s programme offers evening concerts, events in the Café Culturel (conferences, screenings, poetic cabaret, meetings, workshops, etc.), and other meetings for young audiences during the day, as well as numerous artist residencies throughout the season.

The Périscope defends musical creation and conveys values of mutualisation and project co-construction. In recent years, the question of new forms of action for a diversification of the public has arisen, based on the question: how to make the greatest number of people discover and even initiate them to the listening and practice of today’s music? One of the challenges we have set ourselves is to bring together people from different backgrounds around a singular artistic project, without distinction of age, origin, profession, taste and/or musical practice, or life experience. Moreover, thanks to the diversity of musical aesthetics that the project defends, we have developed different ways of encouraging listening but also of making people discover through the practice of music that it is an accessible artistic medium. In this sense, we strive to create spaces for interaction with the public by facilitating access to concerts, by provoking encounters with artists and by proposing mechanisms for amateur practice that contribute to both strengthening social ties and the emergence of new forms of artistic creation.

Our main motto is do “to do for, to do with, to do together…”. This is also why at the Périscope we encourage forms of participatory creation with amateurs and projects that are carried out over long periods of time. Participatory art places the participant as co-creator of a work alongside one or more invited artists. This form of proximity makes it possible to understand a creative process through observation and active involvement. It can also foster self-confidence and strengthen group cohesion, hopefully contributing to a better way of living together.

In 2015, wishing to open up exchange perspectives with new partners, we initiated a first project with a medical-social establishment. The challenges of the meeting between musicians and young people within a Specialised Education and Home Care Service, defined during exchanges with the team, confirmed our desire to invest in this field alongside professionals.

In 2016, the discovery of the Brut Pop project in the report “Musique brute, handicap et contre culture” (Raw music, disability and counter-culture) made with patients at the Saint Jean de Dieu hospital caught our attention because of its originality and its exemplary nature.

When Cécilia de Varine, in charge of cultural development at the Saint Jean de Dieu hospital, asked us in 2018 to contribute to their project, it was therefore simply and with pleasure that we agreed to host one of David Lemoine and Antoine Capet’s residencies at Le Périscope. This “outside the walls” practice workshop proposed by the hospital institution to patients and caregivers took place in the Périscope concert hall, a space dedicated to sound diffusion. This gave the participants the opportunity to work in the heart of the city, in an adapted and comfortable space, with professional means of amplification and quadraphonic listening, while taking advantage of the darkness of the room.

Taking the opportunity of the musicians’ presence, we also organised a day to present the Brut Pop project to patients and accompanying staff from various health establishments of the OVE foundation (Œuvre des villages d’Enfants), of which we are also a partner. Finally, in the evening, we offered health and culture professionals a time to reflect on the issue of participatory musical creation in health establishments. Reflecting with other actors in the field allows us to take a step back and collectively imagine new forms of partnerships. And even if the reflection was only initiated due to lack of time, we succeeded in gathering and bringing together the sixty or so people present.

Through this project, we can see that the joint mobilisation of health and culture professionals who pool their resources with a coherent artistic team, allows us to build sensitive and inventive projects for the benefit of all. Patients, educators, carers, artists, cultural coordinators in health and/or cultural establishments have expressed their satisfaction and interest at the end of the Brut Pop project. We are delighted to have contributed in our own way.

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Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from funds of the Culture Promotion Fund within the Creative Sectors Programme 2022