In March 2020, a wave of isolation and loneliness emerges after confinement. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of professional musicians find themselves without any income. Attempts to continue playing happen… at counters or online. Unfortunately, that’s not what pays the bills. It is in this context that, on May 1, 2020, the Valais musician Pascal Viglino decided to act by creating in the Garden, a platform that allows connecting musicians and the public.
Everyone can therefore offer themselves or a loved one music directly at home. The enthusiasm of musicians and customers is present, as more than 1,500 musical moments have been delivered across French-speaking Switzerland. If Dans l’Jardin is a slightly crazy project, it is still an innovative economic, social and cultural model. “In concrete terms, it is an online platform that democratizes access to music by connecting individuals and professional musicians, who come to play at home for about twenty minutes, at a fixed price that we want to be accessible to the public (always in a small committee), but which generates a correct remuneration for the artist”, explains Raphaël Nanchen, the new operational director, also creator of the festivals of Valais Caprices and Polaris.
Three musical genres are offered: classical, pop or folk/jazz music. The client gives the artistic direction and then accepts to be surprised by the musical encounter. “It promises exciting moments and also the discovery of talented local artists”, says Raphaël Nanchen.
Everyone has an occasion to celebrate in music
This musical meeting should take about an hour for the 250 artists currently registered on the platform, including travel, so it can be easily integrated into your schedule. It is also essential that the musician find his pleasure. “Our mission is to guarantee musical quality and unearth new talent in your region”, insists Raphaël Nanchen. The instrumentalists and singers have in common the fact that they are all professionals.
But who are the sponsors? Music lovers from 7 to 77 years old, as they say, because it’s mainly the occasions that arouse the interest to celebrate in 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 person at the end of his life who managed to get out of palliative care for some days and go home. “One of his greatest pleasures would have been receiving as a gift from his friend a last musical moment at his home thanks to a violin and cello duet,” he continues. On a completely different note, there is this original farmer who offered a magnificent Lyoba to his cows and to his friends invited for the occasion.
The development of a 2.0 version
Based on its two years of experience in French-speaking Switzerland, the structure has now decided to become more professional and to aim for a development that will allow it to achieve greater viability in the medium term. “We are developing a 2.0 version of our platform, which will be operational from September,” notes Raphaël Nanchen. At the same time, we are exploring ways to export to German-speaking Switzerland and, why not, abroad. Continuing, of course, to pay particular and human attention to the artists, who remain at the heart of our project.
A new name will also soon replace the Garden. “At first, concerts took place outdoors due to the pandemic, but now they take place both outdoors and indoors”, specifies the director. On the other hand, the concept that made its strength and notoriety, unique of its kind, will not change. However, it must expand. Perhaps through tailored offers with specific musicians or repertoires. Certainly with the development of an institutional axis, which is already having good repercussions, in particular with the SGA (see box), and may be extended to other sectors. Beautiful music of the future.