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Music Box Village


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In 2011, a collapsing Creole cottage on Piety Street in the Bywater became the catalyst for a grand experiment in “musical architecture.” Founding artists Delaney Martin, Taylor Lee Shephard, Swoon and owner of the house, Jay Pennington, imagined the wreckage could be reimagined as a playground, theatre, musical instrument and, in general, a space for community music making. With 20+ other local artists, they brought the cottage back to life as a landscape of collectively-built sonic structures that make sounds in surprising ways — by walking on floorboards, opening sliding doors, or playing columns made of chimes. Thus began an evolving project that would be known as the Music Box.Inspired by the everyday presence of music in New Orleans, and the city’s under-celebrated class of tinkerers, inventors and avant-garde musicians, Music Box Village has persisted as a place where play, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, community and hard work come together as a whimsical village of artist-made interactive “musical houses.” Now a permanent exhibit in the New Orleans Bywater, the Music Box Village continues to be (re)built from found objects and recycled materials inspired by the unique musical and architectural culture of New Orleans, and represents a collaborative process between artists based here and abroad. Today this one-of-a-kind art site hosts intensive artist residencies, performances, panels, and welcomes visitors for exploration and play.Splice was proud to collaborate with the Music Box Village to finally capture and catalog many of the strange, broken, and beautiful sounds of its houses. Each installation was exhaustively played by vocalist, percussionist, and musical director Tif (Teddy) Lamson and meticulously edited by frequent Splice collaborator and producer Charlie Van Kirk. In totality this pack is a wild, loud, and triumphant journey through a uniquely New Orleans palate out sounds. Whether you need a novel sounding percussion for your drum kit, a haunting snippet of foley for your film score, or just want to explore and listen, this pack is your Pandora’s Box of wonder.

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