Swoon + The New Orleans Airlift = A Magical Musical House

by Erina Davidson

After transforming streets, walls, and waterways around the world, Swoon is unleashing a new gift to the New Orleans art community – a musical house named the Dithyrambalina. The ‘house-sized-instrument’ will be a permanent, interactive sculpture set in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. The building site is the former home of a blighted Creole Cottage; its salvage will be used in the construction of the Dithyrambalina. The artistic reconstruction and revival of New Orleans post-Katrina is returning the spirit and sounds that some said would never come back to the Big Easy. Working in conjunction with the New Orleans Airlift, the Brooklyn-based artist is doing her part by creating a space where the community can gather and make music by interacting with the instrumental house.

This fall, kinetic sound artists from New Orleans and across the country will come together to build a temporary installation called The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory, which will be the testing ground for Dithyrambalina’s musical prototypes as well as a place for the artists to share ideas. Among the instruments that will be tested are singing walls, organ floorboards, and percussion triggered by the human heartbeat. Airlift artist Taylor Shepherd is a mechanical artist who will be working with Swoon to actualize the Dithyrambalina.

Above: Swoon’s wheat-pasted fence at the building site of the Dithyrambalina

The Dithyrambalina is a New Orleans Airlift project. The New Orleans Airlift is a multi-disciplinary arts organization that produces and facilitates innovative artistic opportunities for New Orleans-based artists locally and around the globe. Visit the Airlift’s website for more information on the organization and its current projects, including The Music Box.

*If you are interested in helping fund this project, visit the Dithyrambalina’s Kickstarter page to donate (minimum donation is only a dollar). * The page also has a fantastic video of Swoon explaining her vision behind the Dithyrambalina.

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.