The Music Box is a New Orleans art installation that makes regular artist’s colonies look like Camazotz. In this tiny shantytown, every building is also a musical instrument, and the entire town can be played in a beautiful, spooky symphony that looks and sounds like something out of Coraline.
In the Music Box, furniture and floors and cabinets all make music — or at very least, noise — and the structures they’re built into are largely made from salvaged materials. The “Lookout Tower” is an old spiral staircase, set with pipes from a church organ destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The “Echo Wall” is made of vibrating steel sheeting and springs, with an attached horn made of copper plumbing pipe. The “Noise Floor” is … a noise floor. There’s a musical rocking chair and a giant washtub bass. It’s like a hillbilly Burning Man, and it is awesome.
You can go see the Music Box if you’re in NOLA — it just reopened for spring, and visiting hours are noon to 5 on weekends. Please go and send me pictures!
Update: It has been pointed out to me that Andrew W.K. is in this video, at roughly the 2:30 and 3:00 marks (thanks Koye)! I didn’t even notice him the first time around, because OF COURSE Andrew W.K. is playing a musical house in New Orleans. (Thanks Koye again because I stole that joke!)
The Music Box: Artists Turn Shanties into Musical Instruments in New Orleans (Video), TreeHugger.
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