The Latest Update
The Music Box Roving Village Opens in City Park New Orleans
The Music Box Roving Village at City Park Presented by The Helis Foundation is an installation of Airlift’s interactive, musical structures that will be residence under the live oaks April 3-May 10, 2015. This project will host orchestral performances, artist talks, educational workshops and free interactive hours where members of the public can play the musical houses.
Performances feature musicians from New Orleans and abroad creating experimental and innovative new compositions on the musical houses. April 3rd & 4th was the premiere of The Roving Village Orchestra, conducted by New York free jazz Master Willam Parker and including musicians Cooper Moore, Quintron, Rob Cambre, Leyla McCalla, Tank, Marion Tortorich, Labanna Babylon, Rusty Lazer, Moose Jackson and Glenn Barbarot.
On April 24th you can join us for a SUPER SECRET, special performance at The Music Box Roving Village: City Park. Headlining Jazz Fest musicians will play alongside local musical heroes Quintron, Luke Winslow-King, Rob Cambre and Dustin Louque. We cannot announce who the Jazz Fest musicians are until the day of the event, but these celebrated musicians will play the musical houses for a once in a lifetime experience. You can purchase tickets in advance here:
Airlift will host a May 8th & 9th performance. Lineup to be announced soon!
This rambling, sonic city is engineered to be transportable with invented instruments embedded into the floors, walls, windows and ceilings of this brand new series of musical houses. Local and international artists, inventors, craftsmen and architects built these playable structures with the help of a variety of community partners ranging from non-profits and universities to children’s groups. This year the musical houses will come together for the first time to create a traveling village of orchestral proportions- an amalgamation off architectural spaces, sound and performance.
For more info, go to our website www.neworleansairlift.org
Listen to the latest Musical House Performance with Klaas Huebner (musical house), Andrew Schrock (musical house), Aurora Nealand (accordian), Brad Walker (sax) and Paul Thibodeaux (drums)
New Orleans Airlift invited New Orleans musicians Aurora Neland, Brad Walker, and Paul Thibodeaux to collaborate with artists Klaas Huebner and Andrew Schrock on a composition for Airlift’s new musical house. Airlift’s newest musical house was built in the 9th ward of New Orleans by Klaas Huebner, a sound artist from Berlin and Andrew Schrock a visual artist from New Orleans. This musical house utilizes wind through a series of tubes to create an ethereal sound that could belong in a chapel. For images of the project, check out our blog.
The Music Box: Calanthean Canyon, Shreveport LA
New Orleans Airlift just completed a month long residency in Shreveport, LA working on a new outpost for Dithyrambalina awith the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s UNSCENE! program. We had the most inspiring and amazing time because of all the incredible people we met and worked with. We had no idea that by week one we would have nearly a 30 person strong team of collaborators whose raw enthusiasm and varied talents just blew us away. We are so excited to see what our collaborators will do with this experiment as they program it themselves over the next 6 months!
The Airlift team was led by artistic director Delaney Martin who collaborated with fellow project founder Taylor Shepherd on one of our newly transportable musical houses. Music Box New Orleans veterans Ross Harmon (New Orleans) and Frank Pahl (Detroit) also joined the team creating their outstanding chime-based house “The Bower’s Nest”. Frank would also be our amazing conductor, selecting local musicians and composing original songs from each innovative instrument.
We were also honored to work with a member of The Residents, a cult band whose members have stayed largely anonymous, some of whom happen to be from Shreveport. Rather than join us, we were haunted by a Resident via a video piece and vocals created especially for our project that were incorporated into a custom log cabin of the artist’s design created in collaboration with locals Nate Treme and Josh Porter. Frank Pahl, our conductor, brilliantly harnessed these elements in his orchestration of our opening performance. STAY TUNED for video and sound recordings that we will be posting soon!
Our local team of artists were led by Peter Fetterman who galvanized the most awesome community of artists and musicians ahead of our arrival. Folks like Jon Mackey, whose musical green house sat perched 20 ft up in the air on a catwalk built in just three weeks by Jimmy Cousins along with a spiral staircase and a Thermin whose antenna was a geodesic dome. Josh October got an amazing sound out a barrel-based instrument he had been dreaming about making for years while Brett Roberts‘ House of God harnassed the power of PVC pipes. Christian Maes made a bottle carillon that was so elegant and we even had a Windmill created by John Martin in collaboration with Laura Thompson.
It was awesome to see wire artist James Marks engage in a collaboration with Music Box New Orleans veteran Lindsey Karty. We couldn’t bring Lindsey but we brought the brains of her instrument, The Electric Curtain, and James gave it a form of his own. A similar exchange happened between the local Omen Art collective who built an installation of off Angeliska Polacheck‘s pre-existing Tintinabulation Station, another piece we brought with us. Omen’s installation was amazing an paid tribute to The Calantehan Temple, a building erected in 1923 by the Order of the Calanthe, an African-American womens society that also held famous concerts on its roof top bar during the hey day of Shreveport’s music scene in through the 40s.
We cannot thank the musicians and dancers who joined us for our opening performance enough. This incarnation of our Shantytown Orchestra featured: DeMarco Lewis, Theresa Andersson, Brittney Maddox, AJ Haynes, Adam Davis, Jon Mackey, John Martin, Pete Fetterman, Nate Treme, Jimmy Cousins with special guest dancers GHOST, QUINN and WOLF of the Slade Collective.
As usual, so much of the real magic of a musical village comes from the encounters of our audiences as they discover and interact with our inventions.
NEW ORLEANS AIRLIFT WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS OUTSTANDING PROJECT POSSIBLE: Jason Brown, Bill Daniels, Dave Nelson, Michael Futrel, Chris Brown, Matthew Lary, David Pinter, Cody Crain, Scott Crain, Jeremy Lafitte, Nathan Woods, Joey Barto, Mitch Landry, Josh Porter, Robert Trudeau, Christiana, Katie Livinston, Anaii Lopez, Rick Pierce Resources, Lydia and Josh, as well as all of our amazing volunteers. A very special thanks to the Shreverport Regional Arts Council for hosting us, in particular Director Pam Atchinsion and Unscene! Creative Director Brandon Oldenburg. And of course, many thanks to New Music USA for supporting this project!
A New Musical House!
New Orleans Airlift is very pleased to announce that New Orleans-based artist Dawn Dedeaux will be building the first new musical house of 2014 for Airlift’s ongoing musical architecture project Dithyrambalina. This year Airlift is building transportable houses with a variety of community partners in order to present a roving musical village to different neighborhoods around our city in 2015.
Dedeaux’s Can You Hear Me? house is being built in partnership with the children and musicians of the Lower 9th Ward. Made entirely of tin cans, an age-old acoustical device that speaks to invention and the humble origins of the blues, the house will be assembled at the Lower 9th Ward Village, a non-profit community center. This project has developed in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development.
Airlift is collaborating with Dedeaux and the wider community to turn the Can You Hear Me? project into an amplifier for the Lower 9th Ward’s ongoing struggle to have their voices heard and their needs met nine years after the storm – Ya heard me???
New Orleans Airlift will produce six performances for Dithyrambalina, a multi-disciplinary project dedicated to the exploration & performance of musical architecture. Inspired by the twin pillars of New Orleans culture, Music & Architecture, we ask, how a house can be an instrument?
From 2011 through 2012 The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory answered this question by presenting groundbreaking musical performances and cacophonous public hours in a miniature village of musical architecture in New Orleans. Constructed from the remains of a blighted house, invented instruments were embedded into the walls, ceilings and floors of structures created by 25 collaborating artists. Performed on by 70+ world-class musicians for orchestral concerts and attended by 15,000+ visitors & 500+students, The Music Box captured the hearts of New Orleans community and the attention of international press including NPR who said: “High concept and nontraditional as it may be, The Music Box has found a place in the long history of New Orleans music.”
The Music Box closed, but 2014 will see the creation of 5 new musical houses that will form a roving village. The construction of each mobile structure brings our artists into collaboration with unique community partners like Mardi Gras Indians & master craftsmen. Upon completion of each house, 5 small inaugural performances will bring together ensembles of professional and youth musicians to debut our new architectural instruments.
When all 5 musical houses are completed, we will present our first Roving Village Residency in Spring 2015. Imagine waking up to singing houses at the end of your block! Opening hours and educational workshops will culminate in an orchestral performance by a guest composer/conductor in a two-week residence. The composer will select the performing musicians & the musical direction of the performance. (Collaborators included on this application are illustrative of the quality of the many other collaborating artists working on this project.) This exciting opportunity to work in a completely new context with fellow musicians extends to working with community members from choirs to marching bands. Recordings and videos will be made of each performance for public consumption.
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Andrew WK, Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall), Mannie Fresh (CashMoney Records) & Dickie Landry (founding member of Phillip Glass Ensemble) were just some of the outstanding musicians from diverse genres who have validated the promise of musical architecture to interest and engage serious musicians in a new form of music.
The unusual situation in which musicians find themselves playing houses allows them to let go of previously conceived ways of creating and performing music. In the past, composer’s strategies for conducting a musical village included mapping the tonal qualities of the structures or simply improvising. They’ve communicating to performers using signs, flashing lights, & other innovative methods. There is still much ground to explore in these orchestral performances of musical architecture.
We seek to create a new experience in music vis-a-vis spatial & sonic innovations that challenge traditional performance modes & celebrate a new way of making music. By placing this work in a community setting we are disposing with the notion that art is exclusive or distant from everyday realities.
A short video that follows Dithyrambalina- a musical architecture project from inception to future plans. Shows highlights of past performances.
Thurston Moore & Rob Cambre Perform at The Music Box in New Orleans. May, 2012.
Musical direction by Luke Winslow King. Performers include Helen Gillet, Theresa Andersson, Ben Jaffe, Washboard Chaz, Clint Maedgen, Esther Rose, Rob Cambre, Cassidy Holden & Ben Polcer.
Start and End Dates
04/01/2014 — 04/01/2015
New Orleans, Louisiana