Residence at 9-9bis 2017-2020 : Alexandre Lévy, associate composer at Métaphone

9-9bis / former mining site of Oignies

The 9-9 bis is a classified site, a living memory of nearly three centuries of coal and industrial activity in the mining site. This site developed on the former mining site of Oignies around the pit tiles 9 and 9bis. These pits 9-9bis were definitively closed on December 20, 1990 and symbolize the end of coal mining in the former Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. The rehabilitation of these buildings into a multi-cultural space dedicated mainly to music and heritage is part of a desire to write a new page in history by engaging a strong cultural, tourist and economic dynamic. 

Site of the 9-9bis, Oignies (Pas-de-Calais)

By developing future projects around the diptych heritage enhancement, creation/education/artistic and musical diffusion, the 9-9bis becomes a major cultural venue with LE METAPHONE© (concert hall but also musical instrument). These facades made up of a sound skin make it a unique musical instrument in the world and conductive to musical creation.

2019 June  / Creation « Acousmeta » in the RUTILANS 

"Acousmeta" in the 9-9bis' Grande Chaufferie / festival Les RUTILANS / 06/29/19

Musicians : Alexandre Lévy and Laurence Chave for percussions.

Acousmatic nap for awake listeners


All audiences – Ages 7 and up

Equipped with a sound device called « acousmonium* », Alexandre Lévy, an artist associated with 9-9bis, revisits live the sound universe of the Métaphone, from the first pieces he wrote in 2015 to the latest creations of last winter. The sound system is composed of 21 loudspeakers surrounding the audience. The live performances are played by Alexandre Lévy on keyboards and electronics and Laurence Chave on percussion.

Acousmeta proposes to listen differently to the works in a close and intimate relation to the sound. Transforming the space and offering, comfortably installed, a deployed sound universe that plays with sounds… such are the sound and musical experiences to which Acousmeta invites the public.

*Acousmonium = an orchestra of loudspeakers placed in front of, around and in the audience.        

Mixing and live : Alexandre Lévy

Percussions : Laurence Chave

Sound technology  : CIDMA and aKousthéa

2018 December / Creation « Mechanic Tribes » at the Festival « Les Fugues Sonores » on 12/07/2018 and 12/08/2018

In order to create a link between the restarting of the machines and the installation of mechanical instruments in the 9-9bis’ sound landscape, we propose to draw inspiration from the mechanics of the machines to compose a new series of musical pieces : « Mechanic Tribes ». The main idea is to study the mechanics of the machines directly with the association of former miners named Acusto-Seci. Then, rhythmic and cycling fonctions bring out new elements of composition. These rythmic and timbral sequences will inspire the creation of musical patterns, usefull to create a series of news pieces of about 15 minutes.

The creation will be made during the festival of « Les Fugues Sonores » festival 2018, during the ceremony of restarting of the machines on December 7th and 8th. The creation will be both in live and in programming, with a musician in play.


●    Molettes – a perpetual movement is set in motion and gets bigger and bigger to make way for a great endless cycle, multiplied tenfold by exponential expansions of speed and height.

●    Bielles – directly inspired by the cycles of connecting rods in compressors, this piece opens with an asymmetrical and repetitive pattern that gives way to interventions of mechanical musical objects.

●    Soupapes  - replaying the mechanical alternation of the valves and the rhythmic games that this suggests, this piece is directly reminiscent of musical works such as toccatas, fugues, etc. where rhythmic and melodic games are combined.

●    Bellis et Morcom – is a tribute to the engineers who developed the mechanical alternation of valves, connecting rods, the main energy of the 9-9bis tile.

●    Abattage – takes up the rhythmic cycles of slaughtering : from the planer to the conveyor belt, where the repeated gestures of the machines create a great jubilant whole.

2018 June / Creation « Métaphone Mécanique » at the Festival « Les Rutilans » the 06/30/2018

Alexandre Lévy presents a musical creation played by the winds quintet « Quintégr’al » for the inauguration of the Métaphone mechanical instruments.

festival "Les Rutilans"
festival "Les Rutilans"

festival "Les Rutilans"
festival "Les Rutilans"

festival "Les Rutilans"
festival "Les Rutilans"

festival "Les Rutilans"
festival "Les Rutilans"


Inauguration of the Métaphone mechanical instruments during the festival "Les Rutilans" at 9-9bis, Oignies.

Musical piece with the formation Quintégr'al and the Métaphone mechanical instruments.

2018 / « Métaphone Mémories » at the Ten Drum Festival in Taïnan (Taiwan) from 02/15/2018 to 02/20/2018

The students of the Lille Conservatory (Regional conservatory) of the percussion class, their teacher Béatrice Caron and Alexandre Lévy will perform during the festival  Ten Drum culture village  of Taïnan (Taiwan) during 5 days on the occasion  of Chinese New Year.

Spectacle Ten Drum
Spectacle Ten Drum

Tainan (Taiwan)

Présentation Dakka 38
Présentation Dakka 38

Concert du 8/12/2017 au 9-9bis à Oignies

Metaphone Memories
Metaphone Memories

Concert du 8/12/2017 au 9-9bis à Oignies

Spectacle Ten Drum
Spectacle Ten Drum

Tainan (Taiwan)

Metaphone Memories
Metaphone Memories

Concert du 8/12/2017 au 9-9bis à Oignies

Spectacle Ten Drum
Spectacle Ten Drum

Tainan (Taiwan)

2017 / « Métaphone Mémories » at the Festival « Les Fugues Sonores » from 12/06/2017 to 12/09/2017

"Métaphone Memories", the original musical creation was played during the  festival "Les Fugues Sonores" on the 8th and 9th of December 2017 at 9-9bis, Oignies.

Visit the FUGUES SONORES 2017

2017 / Meeting « Création et Patrimoine » and musical creation « Métaphone Mémories » - 12/08/2017

Meeting and concert on December 8th at 9-9bis in Oignies : 


At the time when many works are specifically designed for museums or theaters, the encounter between contemporary creation and heritage spaces raises many questions.

More broadly, the notion of heritage is being called into question by the new museology, where old works and old buildings are no longer displayed as an immutable truth of time, but as the witness of an era put into perspective with the present time. The interaction with the public and the installations carried out make it possible to consider heritage as a moving heritage, where the public is invited to position itself as an actor.


Thus, the contemporary artistic work has its place in these spaces because it gives to see, to hear the singular perspectives that an artist wants to give it. Through his creations, the artist offers the visitor a point of view that transcends the place by touching the public in its sensitivity. The work enters in resonance with the spaces in which it is proposed and adds to the historical perspective, the perspective of the living, the movement.

Thus, the relationship between creation and heritage is first and foremost the place where the relationship between creation and transmission is negotiated. 3 themes will be addressed through several interventions :

     ●    Artistic and cultural projects

     ●    Artists and Heritage

     ●    Pedagogy of artistic creation

2017 / « Métaphone Mémories » Project

A project of memory around the intangible heritage of the populations of immigrant miners of the 9-9bis period

Alexandre Lévy proposes to honor the intangible heritage of the migrant populations who came to work in the mineral field. This new creation will be carried out in collaboration with the Lille Conservatory and the Superior School of Music North France. This new project marks a closer collaboration with the heritage department, in particular through research of archives and testimonies associated with academic work. 

Since the opening of the site, generations of workers and their families have settled and lived in the mineral field. They have come from the four corners of France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe and North Africa.

At a time when the question of immigrants and migrants has never been so eminently sensitive ; when the question of living together has become a major issue in our society in the alder of global crises ; when the buildings of 9-9bis constantly demonstrate the greatness of the industrial adventure of yesterday : the site symbolizes both heritage and testimony of these past lives without, however, mentioning the intangible heritage represented by the cultural contribution of immigrant populations.


Through a work of creation the 9-9bis will pay tribute to the intangible heritage of these generations of workers through a musical creation dedicated to the Métaphone and a conference-concert version, intended for regional distribution, in collaboration with the Superior School of Music.

A project in collaboration with the National North Ballet Dance school

Alexandre Lévy  associated National North Ballet Dance school  with his latest creation SIDE(S), Mécanique du Présent by enhancing the Métaphone sound skin with an interactive video and sound device.

The choreographer Pedro Pauwels created a choreography specifically for the school’s students.

SIDES outdoor the Métaphone, dec. 2015 Oignies (59)

2014 / The Métaphone 12 strokes

A music and heritage creation project

Alexandre Lévy proposed to link the industrial heritage of the 9-9bis and the Métaphone through a musical reconstruction of an ordinary day of a miner. Les Douzes coups du Métaphone were created during the European Heritage Days 2014.

Métaphone, sound skin facade. Oignies (59)

Alexandre Lévy also contributed to the technical implementation of the sound skin and the development of a dedicated creation studio.

On the former mining site of Oignies, bring back to life of the coal pits « 9 and 9bis » through their sounds. Every hour, sound reminiscences and musical creations come through the building's sound skin. The Métaphone plays the movements of this creation, respecting the rhythm of a day when the mining site was in activity : the arrival of the workers, the changing rooms, the starting of the compressors, the work, the showers etc.

Alexandre Lévy composed 8 short pieces using sound recordings made on the industrial site, mixed with the Métaphone’s mechanical instruments. The audible soul of « 9,9bis » lives again in a contemporary composition, giving rhythm to the life of the present.

An associated pedagogical project

A pedagogical action was carried out with school stakeholders. Elementary school children compose for the Métaphone around sound environment theme. Four pedagogical works were created by the children and broadcast on the sound skin in December 2014.