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NEW ORLEANS — This weekend the roving Music Box Village of New Orleans will welcome the public to its first permanent space with two days of performances. The initiative of the nonprofit New Orleans Airlift started back in 2011, and its assemblage of musical architecture, in which every structure is a playable instrument, has evolved into a large-scale experiment in reuse and collaboration. A cacophonous water tower, sonic telephone box, and shack of chimes are a few of the structures with which local musician Quintron and OneBeat, an international group of musicians organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will interact at the sneak preview concerts this Friday and Saturday.
“It will be a medley of past and new installations, and when people come back for the grand opening, it will be totally different,” Delaney Martin, artistic director and cofounder of New Orleans Airlift, told Hyperallergic. “The whole season is going to be rough around the edges.”
Rehearsals have begun! #musicboxvillage and @1beatmusic finally underway!!! Don’t wanna give away too much! Get your tickets NOW at the link in our bio or at @euclidrecordsnola for our Sept. 30 and Oct 1 performances, conducted by @quintronnn !!!
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The “Syphonium,” for instance, was previously at a Music Box Village pop-up in Tampa Bay and has now been reconstructed by Devon Brady at the new home in New Orleans’s Bywater neighborhood. It features dripping water falling from the tower to a basin, which combines with an electronic instrument intervention to create an interactive current of sound. The Music Box Village has had iterations in Kiev, Tampa Bay, Shreveport, Louisiana, and New Orleans’s City Park, and its forthcoming permanent home will include returning structures alongside new ones. Matthew Ostrowski and Nina Nichols’s “Western Electric,” activated by playing an instrument or singing in a telephone booth, and Ross Harmon and Frank Pahl’s “Bowers Nest,” which has chime columns and “nail violins” on its wooden walls, are joining the “Syphonium” for the previews.
Back in June I visited the site, which is located at the end of Rampart Street, before the train tracks and the Industrial Canal. At that time, New Orleans Airlift had just moved into the former metal fabrication workshop there, and the grove of live oaks and pecans awaited its sonic structures. On returning this past Saturday, the Music Box Village was still very much a work in progress, but three of its installations were already being put in place. The nonprofit’s resident pack of friendly dogs roamed the grounds, while volunteers and staff worked away in the blistering heat. The previews this weekend are just the beginning of the fall programming planned for the village’s first season in the Bywater.
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“They’re going to tell the story of the Creole migration from the diaspora to the modern day,” music curator Jay Pennington said of the previews. “It’s going to be a real history lesson, and a musical one at that.” He added that in October, come Halloween, the whole site will become an immersive experience based on the local lore of a swamp monster. “The story will be crafted so that people can walk into it anytime, very much like a haunted village,” Pennington said. The village will close down in December and then reopen in February for Mardi Gras.
With the fence cladding just being completed and the houses of reclaimed wood still finding their foundations, the Music Box Village is indeed still a bit rough. Yet as it evolves throughout its first year, it will always be a new experience, as the unique acoustic architecture develops into a permanent musical destination.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.