The Mental Health Noise Orchestra challenges public preconceptions concerning people with mental disabilities and health issues by demonstrating their potential for creativity and experimentation. Through workshops, the participants open their ears to the possibilities of sound and noise through listening. They culminate in performances which also confront the audience’s notions of what music is or should be shaped by the music industry and elitist traditions.

The increase in mental health issues could be regarded as symptomatic of the competition and conformity promoted by our current neo-liberal age. Yet along with disabilities in general, it remains much misunderstood. The project is an attempt to raise awareness of such conditions and associated stigmas using noise as the antithesis of supposed social norms epitomised by order, linearity and predictability.

The project was conceived by the artist Ryo Ikeshiro (UK/Jp) and first carried out with participants from the “Benjamin” Support Centre for People with Disabilities with performances at Galeria Labirynt and Centre for Culture in Lublin.