March 2020, a wave of isolation and loneliness rises after lockdown. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of professional musicians are left without an income. Attempts to continue playing take place… on balconies or online. Alas, that’s not what pays the bills. In this context, on May 1, 2020, the Valais musician Pascal Viglino decided to act and create a platform in the garden that allows musicians and the public to connect.
So everyone can offer music to themselves or a loved one directly at home. The enthusiasm of the musicians and customers is there, because over 1500 musical moments were delivered throughout western Switzerland. Even if Dans l’Jardin is a somewhat crazy project, it is nevertheless an innovative economic, social and cultural model. “Specifically, it’s an online platform that democratizes access to music by connecting individuals and professional musicians playing at home for about twenty minutes at a fixed price that we want to make available to the public (always in a small committee ), but which brings the artist an appropriate remuneration,” explains Raphaël Nanchen, the new operational director, who also created the Valais festivals Caprices and Polaris.
Three genres of music are offered: classical, pop music or folk/jazz. The client specifies the artistic direction and is then surprised by the musical encounter. “It’s the promise of emotional moments and also the discovery of talented local artists,” says Raphaël Nanchen.
Everyone has a reason to celebrate in music
This musical gathering should last about an hour for the 250 artists currently registered on the platform, including travel, so that it can be easily integrated into their schedule. It is also important that the musician finds his pleasure. “Our mission is to ensure musical quality and to discover new talent in your region,” emphasizes Raphaël Nanchen. What the instrumentalists and singers have in common is that they are all professionals.
But who are the sponsors? Music lovers from 7 to 77 years of age, as the saying goes, because it is above all the occasions that arouse interest in celebrating with music. A birthday, a meal with friends, Valentine’s Day… “People know how to be very creative,” comments Pascal Viglino, artistic director, who remembers with emotion this man who was able to get out of palliative care at the end of his life care for a few days and go home. “One of his greatest joys will have been to receive one last musical moment as a present at his home from his friend thanks to a violin and cello duet,” he continues. In a completely different register there is this original farmer who presented a magnificent lyoba to his cows and his friends invited to the occasion.
The development of a version 2.0
Due to the two years of experience in western Switzerland, the structure has now decided to become more professional and to strive for a more sustainable development in the medium term. “We are in the process of developing version 2.0 of our platform, which will be operational from September,” notes Raphaël Nanchen. At the same time, we are examining opportunities for export to German-speaking Switzerland and why not abroad. Of course, still with special and human attention to the artists who are the focus of our project.
A new name will also soon replace the garden. “Initially, because of the pandemic, the concerts took place outside, now they take place both outside and inside,” specifies the artistic director. On the other hand, the concept that made it so strong and unique in its kind will not change. But it should be expanded. Perhaps through tailor-made offers with certain musicians or repertoires. Certainly with the development of an institutional axis, which is already well received in particular by the EMS (see box) and could extend to other sectors. Beautiful music from the future.