In partnership with the Strasbourg Conservatory, the Percussions de Strasbourg has begun work with Demos for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons, which correspond to the orchestra’s second and third years. This project, which has a national dimension, focuses on musical practice in orchestra. Initiated in 2010 and coordinated by the Cité de la musique Philharmonie de Paris, it is aimed at children living in neighbourhoods that fall within the scope of urban policy. It acts where access to artistic and cultural education is made difficult due to economic and social factors.
In 2020, the Percussions de Strasbourg will initially introduce young people to creation through participation in their educational concerts and by visiting their instrumentarium. They will then take part in the Demos workshops in order to propose a collective creation during their final concert on 12 June 2021 at the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse in Strasbourg and on 19 (or 20) June 2021 at the Philarmonie de Paris.
The Demos project is led, among other, by Thibaut WEBER, soloist at the Percussions de Strasbourg and who composed the piece Poème sans Phonique especially for this project.
Note of intent of Poème sans Phonique by Thibaut Weber:
“An orchestra of young musicians with only 3 years of instrumental training… but young musicians who already have 3 years of orchestral experience! This is the challenge of this piece written for the pupils of DEMOS Strasbourg: to reconcile the advantages and disadvantages of this atypical training, but oh so necessary: to bring the practice of a “classical” musical instrument to children who would otherwise perhaps never have tasted the pleasures of collective musical practice.
Based on this (already) rich experience in an orchestra, how can we compose a piece for them that will allow them to discover even more artistic sensations? How can we continue to surprise them?
The classical orchestra plays seated, the DEMOS orchestra plays standing! It is a fabulous opportunity to make them aware of their stage presence, from the moment they enter the stage and the audience looks at them, all their gestures are part of the concert, all their attitudes make a show!
Thus, during this Poème sans phonique (the title is somewhat misleading: there will be a few of them all the same!), the pupils will at times be themselves musical instruments with their whole body. Body percussion is an excellent way to make each instrumentalist a budding percussionist, allowing him or her to physically feel the rhythm he or she is playing.
Gradually, the whole orchestra will become a choreographic instrument. “Dance! “you will say to me? Rather a musical act made up of movements and gestures, of ensemble and silence…”.