Paris (February 5, 2010)–At the Musée de la Musique in Paris, the current We Want Miles: Jazz Face to Face With Its Legend exhibit makes use of Meyer Sound loudspeakers.
As the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to jazz great Miles Davis, his music was the focus. Thousands of visitors came to get a close-up look at his career and rediscover the artist’s music. Curator Vincent Bessière and sound designers Philippe Wojtowicz and Mathias Abherve applied compact Meyer Sound systems strategically distributed throughout two levels of the exhibit hall.
To “show” music in a museum space was no easy feat. The venue’s reverberant physical acoustics and the close proximity of the listening spaces demanded careful control of the sound. Meanwhile, the visibility of the audio equipment had to be kept to a minimum to ensure visitors could focus on the musical instruments, stage clothes, portraits, session sheets, and other never-before-shown artifacts. Most important of all, sound clarity was a priority in order to accurately reflect the musical talent of the artist.
“Unlike other exhibitions, the audio here is not just ambient sound for the environment. The idea is to provide the audience with a true listening experience. Visitors stay for a long time at one place just to listen to Miles,” says Wojtowicz. “The team agreed early on that this exhibit would be created with respect for Miles Davis’s music. This was key, and dictated the choice of Meyer Sound systems.”
From Davis’s St. Louis, Missouri home to his last concert at La Villette in Paris in 1991, visitors followed the evolution of his music through Meyer Sound’s miniature MM-4 and UPM-1P loudspeakers in the listening rooms. A series of projection screens showing footage of live performances were complemented by UPM-1P loudspeakers and UMS-1P subwoofers. The compact loudspeaker enclosures were largely hidden from view. All of the Meyer Sound equipment was provided by Paris-based Dispatch.
“I have used the MM-4s many times before. They are lightweight, visually discreet, and most importantly, they sound fantastic,” says Wojtowicz. “Sound opens a new dimension for the visitors, gives context to open their imagination. Using a high-quality sound system allows me to help transmit a lot of emotions for the exhibit.”
The Paris debut of We Want Miles: Jazz Face to Face With Its Legend has received critical acclaim for its sight and sound from visitors from around the world, including The New York Times’ Yasmine Ryan, who reported that the exhibition “is infused with the spontaneous and elegant nature of the man and his music: cool and understated in all the right places.”
On April 30, 2010, We Want Miles will move to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada, where a Meyer Sound MM-4XP and UPM-1P loudspeaker system configured by Philippe Wojtowicz will be used.