Dithyrambalina is (1) a permanent public sculpture in New Orleans by Brooklyn-based artist Swoon; (2) a house for dwelling; and (3) a fully functional musical instrument.
The structure is the centerpiece of The Music Box: A Shantytown Sound Laboratory, the three-month long exhibition of the sculpture-instrument and "Shantytown Orchestra" music series led by New Orleans organ-and-puppet maestro Quintron.
Among the featured performers participating in the series, which kicks off this weekend, there is a smattering of artistic and musical luminaries like Wolf Eyes contributor Nate Young, Andrew W.K., and none other than Miami's own Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra.
The video below features Rat at the one-off Philadelphia Random Gear Festival and pig roast. Handpicked noise artists were challenged to come up with a set on the spot using instruments (and sometimes "instruments") chosen at random by lottery. In this clip, he plays a car fender.
Of course, in his years touring the world playing bowel-emptying cacophony, Rat has played his fair share of literal junk. In addition to the fender, he's utilized beer cans, televisions, and garbage cans for the purposes of musical performance.
The Music Box, which kicks off in New Orleans this weekend, will mark Rat's first time ever playing a physical structure intended for living.
While a house that doubles as an instrument recalls the whimsically avant-garde reality of a Dr. Seuss book, this project is driven by an empowering, civically-minded intention, as explained in the mission statement:
By turning our salvaged construction into a musical house that is free, public and playful, we are inviting the wider community to imagine and participate in a new landscape of potential and possibility.
Kind of makes you want to convert one of those empty condos Downtown into a giant didgeridoo.
For more on The Music Box, A Shanty Town Library: dithyrambalina.com
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