ars musicaTo the Maison de la création – Centre culturel Bruxelles Nord (the former Laeken town hall) this evening for one of the parcours in this Ars Musica event. We’d come to see a friend, Pauline Claes, singing in an extract from John Adams’s opera, I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky. The Song about the bad boys is a wonderfully lively, jazzy, gospelly infectiously cheerful piece (three voices and a piano). It was but an aperitif for our musical evening. We were led by a guide from floor to floor and room to room and treated to a series of short performances. Thus, we saw Louis Preudhomme play Eric Sammut’s Ameline (marimba); Myriam Graulus and Pascale Simon play Joji Yuasa’s Interpénétrations (two flutes); Laurent Houque play Mladen Tarbuk’s Danza di corde (violin); Kobe Van Cauwenberghe play Fausto Romitelli’s Trash TV Trance (electric guitar); and, to round the evening off, Josep-Maria Balanyà conducted the Dizôrkestra in Improvisations (an exercise in sound painting for voices and instruments). The clips are from what I could find on You Tube, but they give an idea about how rich and varied the evening was. As for the venue, the former Hotel Communal, built in 1907, is an imposing piece of civic architecture. The central staircase sports panels urging ‘L’obstination, l’emportement, le courage, la meditation, l’exaltation, l’inspiration’, and I spotted the following Condorcet quote under an art deco painting in one of the grand rooms; ‘Dans la domaine des sciences, la perfectibilité humaine est indéfinie.’