The Music Box is an interactive installation comprised of musical architecture. It was created by non-profit organization New Orleans Airlift in collaboration with 25 artists including the international street art star Swoon. The Music Box features a collection of purpose-built shacks and miniature houses, each containing an instrument or having instruments built into its structure. The wooden shacks that make up this “shanty-town” are constructed from salvaged materials reclaimed from a late-18th-century Creole cottage that collapsed on the site several years ago.
Housing a slew of unconventional and inventive instruments, The Music Box offers its visitors a blank canvas to create music in an entirely new way. Between now and the end of June The Music Box will host a series of recordings sessions and pop-up performances in the space by amazing and diverse musicians including Thurston Moore, longtime Swoon collaborators Dark Dark Dark, the beloved Cajun musician Jo-El Sonnier, the sample-based band Javelin, the Brooklyn pop punk duo Japanther, and noise heroes Black Dice.
Click above to view past performance video ft Andrew WK
A final performance by the Shantytown Orchestra will feature an unexpected and eclectic line-up including local musicians like Donald Miller (of the legendary 1980’s noise band Borbetomagus), to Rosalie “Lady Tambourine” Washinton, a familiar New Orleans character who plays with gospel acts as well as the Neville Brothers. They will be joined by out-of town performers including the transgendered harpist Baby Dee, (a collaborator of Will Oldman and Antony and the Johnsons), Magas, the electronic wizard of Chicago, and the Brooklyn-duo Javelin. These June 8th and 9th concerts mark the very last chance to experience a full orchestral performance at The Music Box before the installation is taken down at the end of June 2012.
Main Photo Credit: Tod Seelie
“There is a rotating cast of performers for the concerts, and the range is eclectic.”
– The New York Times
“Conducted by Quintron, the performances were mostly haunting electro-acoustic soundscapes that melded elements of Stockhausen and Brian Eno with hints of funk and bounce.”
– Art Papers