Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Shantytown Sound Laboratory

This a sound laboratory, the Bywater precursor to an interactive sound sculpture in the form of a permanent three-story house to be called Dithyrambalina.

Today, I toured a small building lined with tiny, tingly bells, spoons and other chiming objets, which made a shimmering sound when shaken. I sat in a rocking chair that made whirring sounds and played a ceiling fan with foot pedals. I banged on a xylophone made of driftwood and visited the Heartbeat House, Water Organ and Lookout Tower Drone Organ.

Best was the Pendopo at the End of the Universe, where numerous percussion instruments clanged in arhythmic fashion, creating an almost overwhelming aural sensation.

Here's the description of the Singing House: "A harmonic drone synthesizer that is completely modulated by the weather. Wind speed, sun position, moonlight, rainfall and lightening all provide constant daily changes to an ever-present E Major chord. A special amplification system was designed for this invention so that many different speakers can be run at the same time for a true "surround sound" experience.

The Noise Floor was inspired by the nightingale floors of the Shogun's palace in Kyoto, resounding with amplified creaks and groans when stepped upon.

The Bathtub Bass is a bass banjo with bathtub resonator, built from a discarded bathtub, drum, wood scraps and weed whacker line.

The artistic project is being led by street artist Swoon who is known for her community-driven collaborative endeavors.

The New Orleans Airlift project transports the dynamic street culture, living folk culture and growing contemporary arts scene in New Orleans to far-flung locations like London, Berlin, Los Angeles and New York for exhibitions, festivals and performances. Airlift also brings influential artists from abroad to participate in cutting edge collaborations with local artists.

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