Recently Dithyrambalina's lead sound artist, Taylor Shepherd, competed in the prestigious Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech University. This amazing competition brought together instrument inventors from around the world and featured incredibly creative applications of computer technology and ideas of what an instrument could be.
Delaney Martin, Dithyrambalina's Artistic Director, joined Taylor and had the opportunity to meet all the contestants in what turned out to be an amazing research trip for the project. We also met Judge and personal hero Laurie Anderson (pictured below with Taylor). Thanks to Georgia Tech and the Guthman Family for putting on this amazing event. See what the NY times has to say about it by clicking here.
We are delighted to announce that the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has acquired a piece of Music Box history in the form of The Music Box Gate.
The gate features Swoon's iconic image of Thalassa, a sea goddess image the artist created for her 2011 exhibition in NOMA's great hall. The Music Box Gate was part of Swoon's evolving 35 ft mural along the iconic and irregular fence greeted every visitor to The Music Box. The gate is constructed of the same salvaged wood that the larger installation was built from - the beautiful remains of an 18th century creole cottage that had formerly stood on the site.
On behalf of the artists, musicians, volunteers, friends and visitors of The Music Box, New Orleans Airlift would like to thank NOMA for making the memory of this extraordinary project live on in their permanent collection for years to come.
Here she is!
Our team came together in January to re-imagine what Dithyrambalina could be. We consulted with our artists, musicians, inventors, architects and staff, gathering opinions and ideas based on the wonderful experience of The Music Box! The success of that prototyping installation and proof-of-concept for musical architecture has convinced us that we have a powerful idea on our hands and expanded our vision for the future.
In this current model Swoon’s original design for Dithyrambalina as a single house has hybridized with the village concept as developed by Delaney Martin, Taylor Shepherd and all the other collaborating sound and visual artists of The Music Box. The sonic qualities of moving through The Music Box village, the different vantage points it offered, and the fun of its exploration led to this decision.
Swoon will now design the central structure of Dithyrambalina while the rest of the village will grow organically through the hands of many artists. This model represents the first of many in what are starting to think of as a call and response design process.
Photos, Will Widmer
Our design team has consulted with all our participating artists and we are getting to work!
The new year has brought out extraordinary team of artists, architects, musicians and inventors back to the table. We are working together to build the lessons of temporary The Music Box into a new vision for the permanent Dithyrambalina. It has been so wonderful to reconnect and share ideas for the future.
Music Box contributors Quintron, Rob Cambre, Taylor Shepherd and Michael Glenboski talk musical architecture
Swoon hears from sound artists Jayme Kalal and Jonah Emerson-Bell
We are excited to announce that New Orleans Airlift is a finalist for the prestigious Artsplace Creative Placemaking Grants. Here is what ArtPlace has to say:
One hundred five applicants in 72 communities in 33 states and the District of Columbia have been named finalists for grants from ArtPlace, an initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. through grants and loans, research, communication and advocacy. ArtPlace is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks. ArtPlace also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.
The selected applicants represent the best of the 1,225 letters of inquiry from across the country. Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
Finalists were chosen for their potential to transform communities through placing art and culture at the heart of portfolios of integrated strategies that drive vibrancy and diversity.
Dithyrambalina has out grown our old Music Box lot on Piety St. in the Bywater. Being successful beyond our wildest dreams means we have to find a new site to accommodate a bigger vision. Our team has been exploring new neighborhoods and meeting amazing people along the way. One of the best parts of a huge project like this is sharing it with others. Dithyrambalina is a radical collaboration amongst our artists, but it is also a collaboration with our city.
Dithyrambalina Community Outreach Director Michael Glenboski, Swoon and Warrenetta Banks of Sustain the Nine in the Lower 9th ward
Michael, Swoon and Nat Turner (center left) and Sam of the Blair School and Grocery youth empowerment farm in the Lower 9th
New Orleans Airlift and the Music Box family are happy to announce
Music Box, Outpost Kiev
Music Box creator and curator Delaney Martin, Music Box Civil Engineer and sound artist Taylor Shepherd, and veteran Music Box inventor and performer Andrew Schrock are currently representing the Music Box family in The Ukraine. This project has been made possible by the American Embassy in Kiev in cooperation with the Art Arsenale Museum.
We are delighted to be investigating exciting inventions in musical architecture with our Ukrainian collaborators Ivanov Down ,and Dmytro Nikolaienko. Musical innovations will be led by Kotra conducting Zavloka, Alla Zagaykevych, v4w.enko, Ivanov Down and Dmytro Nikolaienko.
The Music Box team in Kiev is building a single house this time and filling it with Ranjit Bhatnagar’s Noise Floor and Lindsay Karty’s Electric Curtain, plus new inventions from Music Box artists Taylor Kuffner, Ben Mortimer and Ross Harmon. Swoon will be there in spirit with her wheat pastes and all of our other Music Box visual artists and sound inventors and curatorial staff will be represented through the amazing photographs of a slew of New Orleans photographers. Video footage by Tungsten Monkey of the Winter and Spring season’s at The Music Box will introduce a Ukrainian audience to our strange house music.
The Outpost opens on the 18th when we will be joined by the American Ambassador to the Ukraine and gypsy horn band TopOrchestra.
The conducted performance takes place on September 22nd at 8pm
UPDATE!! Our diplomatic mission to the Ukraine was an amazing success! Check out images and sounds below!
Kiev Outpost Performance
Zavloka // Alla Zagaykevych // v4w.enko // Asia and Aleosha of Ivanov Down // Dmytro Nikolaienko
Conducted by Kotra
The Music Box held its final public opening hours over the weekend over June 14 -15, 2012. So much has happened since we opened way back in October last year. Looking back even further, Eliza Zeitlin started building her magnificent River Shack back last July. A full year later we are closing out public activities on this little lot in the Bywater! A year of so many amazing moments and memories. On this last weekend over 600 people poured past Swoon’s incredible muraled fence to enter into the magical land of The Music Box. The magic comes from the old wood that was used to build the Music Box, from the artists who put their hands to it, from the mad cap inventors of musical architecture, from the musicians who played it so well and from the touch of so many members of our community and the wider world. The magic for us on this last day came in the form of beaming smiles and good will washing over us as people stopped to tell us how much The Music Box has meant to them personally. The photos below are by NOLA photographer Kyle Petrozza who just happened to stop by that day. We asked if he could shoot some portraits of our guests and he ended up spending the better part of the day with us. Thank you, Kyle, and thank you to everyone who has participated in this project in so many ways – most of all to our community!
photo Erica Rae
Magas // Dustin Crops // Steve Kenny // Steven Slane // Baby Dee // Donald Miller // Rotten Milk // Rob Cambre //Rosalie “Lady Tambourine” Washington // John Joyce // George & Tom of Javelin // Shaye Cohn // Lefty Parker // Tammy
Conducted by Quintron
We welcomed back Quintron and a new round of Shantytown Orchestra performers for a final performance at The Music Box. A bittersweet ending! But it was so much fun! Quintron included fireworks and smoke in at the climax of the piece! Loud bangs and tons of smoke that hung heavy on the wet air. That’s right – it rained at many points in our two final nights of performances. The amazing thing was that our audiences not only waited in the rain. They were often happily sat in puddles with their umbrellas once they got inside. This really blew our minds.
Once again we were lucky to work with a great array of NOLA photographers. Their various takes on the night are below. Thank you so much to Quintron for being a genius and helping to lead this project. Thank you to all the brave musicians who have tackled our crazy sound town. And thank you to our fans! Ya’ll are die hards!!
photos by Shannon Brinkman
Akrum tames the crowd at the door with his smile