A Musical Journey
Philarmonie de Paris
April 6 to August 19, 2018
Curator: Véronique Rieffel
Emphasising the central role that music plays in Arab societies, the Al Musiqa exhibition is conceived above all as a manifesto for protecting a cultural heritage that is at risk of being lost, while celebrating the extraordinary vitality of musical creation in the Arab world today.
For the first time in France, the Philharmonie de Paris presents an exhibition on Arabic music, honouring both a rich and ancient heritage that is too little-known and the intense creativity of artists from the twenty-two countries that make up the Arab world today.
Al Musiqa takes the visitor on a journey of sights and sounds, from the Queen of Sheba?s Arabia Felix to the Andalusia of the great musician Ziryab, from the pre-Islamic period and the Golden Age of Egypt with the diva Oum Kalthoum to the pop, rap and electro scene that has emerged on the street since the Arab revolutions.
Designed as a vast exploration of musical forms that are traditional and contemporary, mystical and secular, and popular and serious art, the exhibition takes us through immersive landscapes such as the Hejaz desert, the Andalusian garden, the Egyptian movie theatre, the African zaouia, the Oranian café, and the East-West living room.
AN INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION
Aiming to be accessible to the broadest possible audience, Al Musiqa begins with a big madrasa—literally, a “place of learning”. Here, visitors acquire key notions to help them deconstruct clichés and develop or deepen their knowledge through a number of fun and interactive exhibits, such as learning to write one?s name with a digital qalam, or discovering the sound of the oud and the darbuka. Paying tribute to the beauty of Arabic calligraphy and language, the exhibition is entirely bilingual.
The artworks brought together for Al Musiqa introduce visitors to rich public and private collections from East and West, including musical instruments, calligraphy, Persian miniatures, paintings and photographs. In addition to this extraordinary body of work, the exhibition also features travel diaries, comics, movie posters, album covers, cult films and rare audio archives.
A FESTIVE EXPERIENCE TO BE SHARED
A music and dance salon hosts a variety of live events including mini-concerts, karaoke, Arabian Nights storytellers and oriental dance initiation classes. Here, the public can also listen to hits by Cheb Khaled, Warda, Bachar Mar-Khalifé and 48Cent.