ON April 22, the Platform in Easterhouse will host a multi-art festival, Made in Easterhouse, designed to be a development – an evolution for our time. It’s an evolution which may not be televised but will have a pulsating – perhaps even looped – soundscape.

One of the musical artists slated to appear, Free Love’s Lewis Cook, explained: “We really want it to be something people can really immerse themselves in. Everyone is going to come out with a slightly different experience of the music including us.”

Their collaboration with k.yalo, Full Ashram Resonant Module [F.A.R.M], sounds like the challenge we need for our times and, according to Lewis’s other half of Free Love, Suzi: “It’s going to be fun.”

Made in Easterhouse marks a relaunch of the Platform’s exciting live music programme, and what is most impressive is the philosophy and connections made from programming to performance. It shall see local people and artists exposed to each other through live music, visual art and performance. Designed as a kind of “welcome back” party to celebrate the best they have achieved within each art form, it seeks not to showcase but develop.

It’s a theme that the Platform’s artistic director Matt Addicott explores on a busy weekday morning. In their much-used cafe, there is a buzz. But there is always a buzz, though not for Matt as he arrives. Instead of making his way straight to our table for our organised chat, Matt first spends time with the people who are the most important – people who have come in for the events and the services available here – it’s an important part of the ethos of the building: connections.

Matt’s relationship with the building began with Starcatchers.

He said: “Originally it was a residency to make work for early years audiences.”

During that time, he became “smitten with the place” and stayed. Now the artistic director believes that “if you stay long enough, you will end up with the keys”.

Between programming and spreadsheets, he has the time to talk about the big thing that brought him here – the art. The festival is therefore part of an exciting symbiosis which seeks to develop relationships – between where artists like Matt find themselves and where their art may take them.

All of this happens in a building which, like a creative Tardis, has more on its inside than what it promises on the outside.

For Matt, this type of event is hugely important, especially access to it by both sides of this equation – artists and the local community: “With any public building you don’t want to ever say no. You want people to take ownership, build agency and autonomy in the space.”

Through such engagement, art buildings, like the Platform, Matt acknowledges, need to change, “it needs to constantly evolve”.

This is clearly important now as Matt explains: “Coming out the pandemic, it has been fascinating to see where activity returns. In some ways, we are right back at the beginning in working out what we have to offer and how we can share that.” It is also a wider conversation, as Matt says, “about how can we work together better to make a more joined-up offer and looking for different ways to share what is here with people who don’t know what’s here”. It means they need to reach out and not fold in.

It leads to collaborations which have a clarity and purpose but also emerge from previous work, as Anna Hodgart, performance and music programmer, who joined us, said: “It is not prescriptive of the experience that people are going to have as we know that something interesting can happen when you bring together experimental artists, the community who live around here, audiences from elsewhere in the city and international artists. Unexpected things happen.”

Matt picked this up: “I think it is exciting to work with the community in this space and we want to work with artists who really get that.”

And so, I find myself on Zoom, talking to Free Love and k.yalo as their mutual respect and collaboration is described to me with unbridled enthusiasm.

They have all appeared in previous incantations of festival programming at The Platform, including the well-regarded Easterhouse Conversations, curated by Anna, so the evolution of something is clear and rather exciting.

But it is also a festival of kindred spirits, as Lewis of Free Love explained: “When I got involved with making music, I found it much more accessible in some of the ideas I was interested in. I was meeting other people who were sharing those ideas. It was a lot more grounded and a lot more accessible. It was just like having a conversation with somebody.”

That conversation has evolved with Free Love and k.yalo creating their form of chaos for the audience, but it is also the venue that appeals, as Lewis explained: “This is a space that welcomes new ideas – nothing is watered down, and it is not muddied in pretentiousness.”

Suzi of Free Love captured the spirit behind what they are doing: “Music and art is a connection to the divine. The rules are being rewritten.”

As for what to expect from Free Love and k.yalo, they admitted that right now, they are “not totally sure of the finished project or outcome”.

K.yalo confirmed: “It’s a self-collaborative performance. Don’t want to say it will be a sound bath…” When it was suggested that there will be no crowd surfing, Kyalo was quick to clarify: “Well, you say that…”

Their collaboration fits within the context of a venue trying to make sure that connections are made and supported. K.yalo had worked with Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra out in Platform, “so it is kind of nice to come full circle”.

Making that circle of artwork is what it is all about.

“I think that our objective and aim is to support people to develop and explore their own practice: we are keen to support ambition and aspiration,” Matt said.

For Anna, it is all a “bit of a crucible”.

For the artists, including the local ones, it’s a voyage. For the audience, it is an opportunity, to take a space and make of it what you will.

It influences everything, Matt admitted: “Coming out the pandemic, we made all of our classes donation-based and pay-what-you-can. That feels like a real honesty. If people want to be here, grand, but if they cannot contribute, then grand – the important thing is that they are here.”

Sounds like one day they might give this guy the keys.