The Music Box Roving Village
Presented by The Helis Foundation
New Orleans Airlift is an artist driven initiative with the mission of collaborating to inspire wonder, connecting communities and fostering opportunity through the creation of experimental public art. In 2015 New Orleans Airlift announced its most ambitious musical architecture project to date – The Roving Village Residencies. With generous lead support from The Helis Foundation, Airlift’s interactive kinetic musical structures took up residence from April 5 – May 10, 2015 in City Park to host performances, artist talks, educational workshops and free interactive hours where members of the public could play the musical houses.
Over the course of six weeks close to 10,000 people visited. 4,500 people attended Airlift’s free public open hours to explore the kinetic, musical structures that made every visitor an agent of creativity. 1,000 students from across New Orleans schools and afterschool programs engaged in interactive, educational workshops free of charge.
This rambling, sonic city was 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 to create a traveling village of orchestral proportions- an amalgamation of architectural space and sound.
Orchestral performances with local and national musicians playing the musical houses took place on the opening and closing weekends featuring Wilco, Solange, New York City’s William Parker, a “monumental pillar of the free jazz community,” Alex Ebert of the Magnetic Zeros, swamp-pop legend Quintron, celebrated Haitian-American singer songwriter Leyla McCalla, Music Box veteran Rob Cambre, Marion Tortorich of up and coming local band Sweet Crude and Cooper Moore, another venerable jazz master from New York.