Musical Architecture! Dithyrambalina Kickstarts Awesome New Work

by Fatimah Hameed

Art initiative New Orleans Airlift is working to create an architectural landmark in New Orleans, a musical space in which artists and visitors can share and collaborate. The first phase of the musical village was The Music Box, a set-up of interactive structures built on the site of a collapsed 250-year-old Creole cottage. This project, completed last year, is a giant musical instrument that takes an entire community to play and looks freaking awesome.



From this prototype, the artists are moving on to their larger project Dithyrambalina, named for the collective hymns sung for Dionysus, god of ritual madness. They describe Dithyrambalina as “a sonic playground, performance venue and laboratory” on the Kickstarter campaign through which New Orleans Airlift is attempting to raise $50,000 by the end of October in order to fund at least five new buildings. 

Donating can get you a bunch of goodies: a $25 donation gets you a mixtape of tracks from over 50 artists collaborating on the project (downloadable, don’t get too excited about searching for your cassette players), and if you’ve got $2000 to donate, you can get an Electric Curtain, an instrument used in The Music Box.

Swoon, one of the project’s lead artists and BUST art show veteran, says that it was the positive community response that led to the decision to expand to something even more ambitious: Dithyrambalina will be a traveling village. The plan is to build a mobile structure that will make its way around the country before finding a permanent location back in New Orleans.

This is a fantastic way to promote musical and artistic exchange—also a great homage to New Orleans’s own artistic heritage. You should check out their website and the Kickstarter page for their reflections and news about the project. Go, internet! Support art!

Also, BONUS, here’s a video of a live performance through The Music Box.

Thanks to Dithyrambalina and Kickstarter.

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