On the corner of Rue de Nimy and Rue des Trois Boudins stands a building which is unique in Wallonia, a place of dreams and creation entirely dedicated to sound, which is known mysteriously as "La Maison de l'Ecoute" (the house of listening, literally). In it the architects Holoffe & Vermeersch, in close collaboration with the acoustic researcher Eckhard Kahle, develop on an original idea of Jean-Paul Dessy, a cellist, composer, head and artistic director of Musiques Nouvelles, the musical ensemble of manège.mons. Arsonic provides us with a welcome break from our frenetic daily lives; a haven of peace where we can get our breath back. Where once rang out the sirens of this former fire brigade barracks, thus metamorphosed, now one hears the enchanting muses of musicians and of poets. An adjustable 280-seat auditorium is the beating heart of this home port of the imagination. The concerts and shows hosted at Arsonic will have to be adapted to its very unusual configuration – one small seating area and one large, a discreet balcony and removable screens designed for having images projected onto them frame the stage and constitute an invitation to creativity. The general public can go straight in in the evening but in the daytime people can feast their ears on what goes on in the Passage des Rumeurs, where exhibitions are held and sound installations are set up, or take in the various types of music and sound selected for the Chapelle du Silence (the chapel of silence). Children, supervised by music professionals, can carry out experiments in the Salle d'Emerveillement Sonore (the sound wonderment room,
literally) when discovery workshops are held there. A rehearsal room, technical equipment for recordings, dressing rooms and permanent offices...and you will have understood the spirit of the building in which the staff of manège.mons will soon be based. Various types of music, words and images, from all eras, in all musical genres, will be hosted there, like so many invitations to listen to oneself and to others. Welcome to Arsonic!