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September 8, 2013


Rue Dénoyez – A Gallery of Street Art

by soundlandscapes

THE RUE DÉNOYEZ in the east of Paris is about as far removed from the tourist guide, Haussmannian, picture postcard Paris as it’s possible to get.


The Rue Dénoyez is a narrow cobbled street near the bottom of the rue de Belleville. It takes its name from the tavern Dénoyez, a mecca of entertainment in the 1830’s. At the head of rue Dénoyez, where it joins the rue de Bellville, still stands the famous café, Aux Folies, named after an 18th century watering hole in the then rural quarter of Courtille, famous for the annual debauches of the city carnival known as the descent de la Courtille. In the 20th century, Aux Folies was a favourite haunt of both Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier.


Rue Dénoyez – A Soundwalk:


Until fairly recently the rue Dénoyez was in a sad state of decline but today it’s been revitalised. Now it’s home to vivacious street art where spraying graffiti onto the walls is not a crime – it’s actually encouraged, turning the rue Dénoyez into one of the most colourful streets in Paris.


And the street artists go about their work with enthusiasm.


I like Belleville. I find the multi-cultural atmosphere exciting, stimulating and fascinating. And every time I go, I visit rue Dénoyez – and every time it’s completely different. The street art on the walls seems to change by the day.


New artists appear expressing their own talents and creating their own art.


Walking along the rue Dénoyez it’s hard not to be seduced by the visual impact – the shapes, the colours and the artists at work. But for someone wired up like me, there is a listening experience to be had in this street too.


My soundwalk in the rue Dénoyez reveals the sounds of the street artists shaking their aerosol cans.


The sounds of pigeons taking flight in the blink of an eye.


 And even the sound of a sewing machine in this tailor’s shop.


All these sounds, and more, are contained in my soundwalk along the rue Dénoyez and, for me at least, they provided a counterpoint to the visual assault on my senses as I walked along the street.

It did occur to me though that a series of loudspeakers along the street would provide a wonderful opportunity to add ‘sonic graffiti’ to complement the ever-changing visual street art.

That sounds like a plan that I shall have to investigate.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. hmunro
    Sep 9 2013

    Only you would think of recording of this visual spectacle — to wonderful effect, I might add. Thank you for introducing me to this fascinating place. It’s on the “must see” (and “must hear”) list for my next visit!

    • Sep 10 2013

      Thanks Heather. I’m quite sure you will enjoy this colourful street on your next trip. There’s so much else to see in the same area too.


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