carnet de voyage brings a new sound to paris

Experimental music BFFs Mimi Xu (aka DJ Misty Rabbit) and Rosey Chan light up an 18th-century ballroom during Paris fashion week tonight.

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Mar 7 2015, 6:15pm

Tonight, in the 18th-century ballroom at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Paris, Mimi Xu (aka DJ Misty Rabbit) and Rosey Chan (a classically trained pianist) will be tearing it up for Paris Fashion Week. The two friends, working together as Carnet de Voyage, have staged site-specific shows everywhere from an abandoned airplane hangar (for the Gagosian in January) to London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. And tonight's show — "an happening that explores digital technologies with analogue instruments and visuals" — promises to be every bit as electric. As they prepped for the event, we checked in with Mimi and Rosey, who shared the new Mike Figgis-directed video for their track "Mello Disko" (premiering here).

What is Carnet de Voyage in a sentence?
An invitation into a magical and mysterious tour….

What are you most excited about for tonight's performance?
The building has an incredible history. 
It originally belonged to the New Orleans-born Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, then during World War II it was requisitioned by Germany as an officers' club for the Luftwaffe. Also, the musical and visual journey that we are embarking on is a hugely exciting one. Because of the site-specific nature of our show, we add new elements to each performance which can be very risky. It pushes us outside of our comfort zone every time.

How did you guys meet, and what sparked your collaboration?
We met at the Venice Biennale through mutual friends. There was chemistry straight away, first as friends, then as music partners and performers.

What do you both bring to the project from your other experiences at musicians?
It's always very organic and instinctive. Inspiration can come from a melody, a bass line or a drum beat. The combination of our contemporary rhythmic sensibilities combined with original orchestral arrangements nourishes our collaboration. The project draws from rich and diverse musical experiences: baroque to techno, jazz to disco…

If you could only listen to three records for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Mimi: Too hard! I couldn't pick just three. But I could listen to only David Bowie albums for the rest of my life because he evolves constantly.

Rosey: Solo improvised music by someone like Bill Evans. There's always a new depth and beauty to discover in listening to something so raw and unpredictable. But we'll let you know when our new EP is released :)