ACCESS to the building is via a maze of fencing as the re-landscaping of Sauchiehall Street continues, but inside Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) things look much as they did before the fire that destroyed Glasgow School of Art’s historic Mackintosh building and the O2ABC venue below closed it while the surrounding area was made safe.

There is a revised menu in the re-opened Saramago Café Bar and it was a busy, bustling place on Wednesday evening. In a fortnight’s time, on Friday December 7, coincident with the opening of a new exhibition, A Weakness for Raisins, showcasing the work of Czech artist Ester Krumbackova, the CCA is celebrating its re-opening with a party.

It will feature performances from musicians and DJs based in the city including OH141’s Sarra Wild, Cucina Povera, Poisonous Relationship, and Kübler-Ross, and if those names mean little to you, then that’s how it should be. The CCA is about people working at the cutting edge, making new work to challenge viewers and listeners, just as it did in its earlier incarnation as the Third Eye Centre.

What brought me back into the building was the chance to hear the fruits of an annual musicians’ residency organised by AC Projects. This year vocalist Nichola Scutton and clarinettist Alex South were given the opportunity to work together as a duo, exploring what they entitled Rough Breathing. Using electronics and collaborating with a film maker, the pair have been investigating the common ground of the sounds and process of breathing as the beginning of making improvised music, and this week they shared the results of their month in the Creative Lab. In the context of the CCA waking again to offer a nourishing home for its cultural clients, Rough Breathing seemed an ideal re-introduction to the place.

That partnership will, in time, yield duo performances, with a venue like the City Halls Recital Room and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s May Tectonics weekend, co-curated by conductor Ilan Volkov and Alasdair Campbell of AC Projects, perhaps an obvious setting.

It will be into the New Year before this year’s programme for that is revealed, but another of Campbell’s annual presentations of music for those with big, curious ears has just revealed its wares.

Counterflows, which will run from April 5 to 7 next year, began at the CCA and in venues in the Garnethill area of Glasgow around it. As it has grown since 2012, it has expanded across the city and on 2019’s musical excursions will wend its way up Maryhill Road, via Community Central Hall to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Queen’s Cross Church, as well as to another architecturally splendid place of worship in Anderston.

Some of the artists already announced come from rather farther afield, and of particular interest to those likely to be partying at the CCA on December 7 is the UK debut appearance by MC Carol, a no-nonsense presence on Brazil’s funk and rap scene. At a time when some in that South American nation appear to be seduced by the new right in politics, Carolina de Oliveira Lourenco has been putting an alternative argument with lyrics that critique the education system and established versions of history, as well as exploring gender politics and denouncing domestic violence.

Radical in a different way are Katz Mulk, a group including Andrea Kearney, Ben Knight, Ben Morris and Sian Williams, who use electronic and found sound, dance and sculptural installation in their creation of one-off event performances. And two musicians from Chicago, flautist Nicole Mitchell and cellist Tomeka Reid will be visiting Counterflows to collaborate with pianist Alexander Hawkins, who played a blinding set in the Recital Room during this year’s Jazz Festival.

Barriers be damned: Glasgow continues to host music that is well worth going out of your way for.