Paris has long pushed the envelope when it comes to exhibitions. Indeed, housing some of the best (and most famous) galleries on the planet has led to a predicament for those in the new establishment trying to push modern explorations of art.
For a while now, the spunky Palais de Tokyo in the 16th arrondissement has flown the flag for the avant-grade—with good reason. But La Gaite Lyrique, a newly reopened gallery near the trendy Marias and Temple districts, is giving it a run for its money, delighting both locals and tourists.
This year, Red Bull Music Academy, a month-long music extravaganza, is being housed inside La Gaite Lyrique. The gallery’s associated Paris Musique Club — a jaw dropping, interactive exhibition and performance space — has taken over the entire bottom floor of the gallery.
Many have tackled the symbiotic relationship between music and visual art, but none perhaps as convincingly as Scale, the technical team behind the innovations here. Whether it's a giant, glowing LED matrix triggered by a revamped disklavier piano or a dissected drum set that fires out visuals from multiple projectors, it's about as out there as it gets.
But it's also a great one for the kids, with every piece involving multiple layers of interaction. It's certainly not Monet's Water Lillies, though the collective's interpretation of Ravel's Bolero, fed through an Ableton matrix (normally used to write dance music) and reimagined through warm lighting sculpture, could be just as mesmerising.
Across its three-month run, Paris Musique Club will also host 12 local labels and their artists, as well as workshops for kids and a fully licensed after work jazz bar from Thursday to Sunday. Other activities include screenings and master classes in electronic music making. It's a bit like Sydney's MCA on steroids, run by the person you trust most with your iTunes account at a party.
If you're anywhere near the French capital over autumn and winter of this year, make sure you spare an hour or two for Paris Musique Club. Your ears - and eyes - will thank you.
Paris Musique Club is at La Gaite Lyrique until January 31st, 2016.