A wall with large buttons that trigger voices, mellotron-style; An Indonesian gamelan xylophone orchestra played with a arcade game-like control panel; A leslie speaker that amplifies whatever a stethoscope touches. These are just a few of the instruments
built into a unique New Orleans musical architecture installation called Dithyrambalina, or simply, The Music Box.
Street artist Swoon, installation artist Delaney Martin
, and Bounce DJ/producer Jay Pennington
(NSFW?) gathered together builders, instrument makers and artists
around the theme of musical architecture. An 18th century creole cottage built when New Orleans belonged to Spain provided the lumber and scraps for the project after it fell down next to Pennington’s house.
Martin had created large installations that were immersive ‘worlds’ before, but she had never populated them before. Conducted by Quintron, musicians such as Mannie Fresh, Andrew W.K., Thurston Moore, Japanther, Dark Dark Dark, Javelin, Black Dice, Hamid Drake, James Singleton, Dicky Landry, Helen Gillet, Jim White, the Nortec Collective, and many others performed
on these new instruments embedded in the floor, walls and ceiling of the village. Diplo and Nicky da B
used the site as the backdrop for a recent video (NSFW).
Sound man extraordinaire Steven Richardson took on the daunting task of recording the cacophony and made some impressive mixes
(scroll down to May 31, 2012 and April 16, 2012).