Common thread

Every quarter, S2M invites you to discover the program and activities of its 4 venues through a theme. The beginning of this year will be focused on young audience programming and cultural actions set up by these organizations.

more informations on : www.scenes-musiques-metropolitaines.com

Alexandre Queneau - By the way, what is "young audience" ?

First, an oddity. Which is bringing a whole bunch of existential questions :

- From what age can we start to go to concerts ?
- From what age we are not anymore a young audience member ?
- Am I still young ?
- Do we really have to grow ?
- Why do we have to separate audience according to their experience level ?

Perhaps it exist some precise answers to these questioning, but we don't know about them and in the facts, they are swept by our audience reality. This forty-something person, without kids and coming to every "young audience" events, this 9 years old boy accompanying his father, without skipping a beat (but equipped with an earmuffs) to Swans concert, this teenager who had dragged his older sister to Chill Bump... A list that can extend. Treating "young audience" subject isn't easy for us "scène de musiques actuelles" cause we are, historically, one of the places of cultural transgression of the teenager and the young adult. Who can forgot the emotion of his first concert without his parents, teacher or cultural mediator ?

But to stop there, it like think that it is to the young audience to came to us and not to us to make an effort to meet it. An insufficient and unfair logic. We think at the opposite that there is a key challenge in cultural actions toward the younger audience and that it is possible to imagine a dedicated programming. A program that cultivates openness and that permit the transmission of values, without of course, breaking the attraction of discovery, individual, with school or with family, of one's personal artistic taste. We could present this program through three key phases of this discovery experience : the wakening, the understanding and the appropriation.

At the beginning, the wakening. It is the discover of music at a very sensory level and it can start at a very early age. We know that an in utero foetus is already receiving sound signals from outer world. A cocoon of white sound - yes, a kind of drone rock, with a bit of lo-fi - in which music makes its way through. Here, they can come from 3 years old and could attend between other shapes one of an intimate concert, tales, or a musical ball. Not to mention sound naps for 0 to 3 years old...

The next step is the one of understanding. We raise the level here to intellect and we are questioning the show as much in its production (How music instruments and gears are working in a venue) than in the meaning of it (What story this song is telling ? What message the artist wants to transmit ?). The workshop is an amazing format to do this and we create it most part of the time in collaboration with some artists or intervener. We are doing also some hybrid events as movie-concert, musical conference or survey-concert along with out of concert events as theater-forum or light graff.

Then and naturally come the last step, the one of appropriation. Once we give the keys, we have to accept that kids come in the house and change how it look. Really early the young auditor can become actor of his performing art practice. Refine his tastes, fall for one or several genera, reject some other, for a while or forever. It is now him business and that better like that. This is also the meaning of our support, our supports should we say, since each of these four venues composing S2M is bringing its specificities. We build some initiatory path to help young audience to find their way. Wishing them to blossom in it. And we wish us, to all, an eternal youth. Because in the contemporary musics, we never really finished our awakening.