Music: The Night the Walls Moved

Beaubourg and Boulez show off a bold new concert hall

Beyond the fire-eater, the buskers and the tent circus on the cobblestone plaza of Paris' skeletal-modern Pompidou arts center, there is what looks like a subway entrance marked IRCAM. It leads down, four levels below, to the world's newest, most sophisticated center for musical experiment and composition, officially titled Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique. IRCAM is a hushed place that fairly radiates energy and cerebration. Here the ordinateur, as the French call a computer, reigns. In one lab, a group is...

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