Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 30.

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Dithyrambalina will be a sonic playground, performance venue and laboratory for musical architecture in New Orleans.

YOUR SUPPORT HELPS TO BUILD THE FIRST FIVE FOUNDING STRUCTURES OF THIS MUSICAL VILLAGE!

History

Two years ago New Orleans Airlift and the artist Swoon launched the Kickstarter campaign that funded The Music Box, our prototype for an ongoing musical architecture project we call Dithyrambalina. That proof-of-concept was more successful than we ever believed possible!  We transformed a blighted 150-year-old house into a temporary village of playable musical houses with interactive instruments embedded into the walls, floors and ceilings of structures. The Music Box welcomed over 15,000 visitors for days of interactive public exploration and nights of ground-breaking concerts, as well as over 500 students for engaging workshops. To our great amazement the New York Times, NPR, BBC World Service, Smithsonian Magazine, Times PicayuneArtNet, and more reported on the magic of this project.

The Music Box
The Music Box

Celebrating collaboration:

Over twenty five local and international artists like Swoon, Delaney Martin, Quintron, Eliza Zeitlin, Taylor Lee Shepherd and Ranjit Bhatnagar created The Music Box. This temporary orchestral shantytown went on to be played by over 70 musicians from around the world, including Thurston Moore, Andrew W.K., Mannie Fresh, Javelin, Japanther, Nortec Collective and many more. This celebration of collaboration also included all our neighbors and visitors who brought musical architecture to life through their touch.

Unlikely but amazing collaborators: Indie Rock percussionist Jim White and Theris Valvery, a Flag Boy with the Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indian Tribe after a performance.
Unlikely but amazing collaborators: Indie Rock percussionist Jim White and Theris Valvery, a Flag Boy with the Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indian Tribe after a performance.

Our Next Step:                                     

Since closing The Music Box, it has been a quite a year, planning, researching and meeting with lots of people as we decided on our next step. What was once going to be a single musical house designed by Swoon and brought to life by our collaborating artists has turned into an even bigger dream  - an evolving musical village created by many, many more hands, ideas, and influences.

It is a grand vision, but a village does not spring up over night, it grows. Upon that principle, we now are ready to start building the founding structures for Dithyrambalina's permanent campus for research, creation, experience and performance of musical architecture.

In our new model Swoon's original design for a single house looks out over a growing musical village made by many hands. Photo William Widmer
In our new model Swoon's original design for a single house looks out over a growing musical village made by many hands. Photo William Widmer

Your Support:

Your funding will go towards the creation of first five musical structures that will become part of Dithyrambalina’s growing musical village - including materials and fees for our artists and collaborating partners. The new musical houses will begin making public appearances in May of 2014 while the goal of this Kickstarter campaign will be met when all five of these structures are built by Fall of 2014.

We will use these inaugural structures to form a roving village that will visit neighborhoods around New Orleans, and the country, sharing the wonder and possibility of musical architecture with new audiences as we continue to grow our village and work towards securing a perfect and permanent site for Dithyrambalina in New Orleans.

We are building towards the creation of a unique space unlike any other in the country and these first five houses will help us get there. Donations exceeding our goal will allow us to continue building this village of wonder, imagination and innovation one musical house at a time!

The new musical houses will be similar in scale to The Music Box houses (above), but will be built to last and to travel, visiting neighborhoods for community interactions, performances and edcuational workshops. photo Morgan Sasser
The new musical houses will be similar in scale to The Music Box houses (above), but will be built to last and to travel, visiting neighborhoods for community interactions, performances and edcuational workshops. photo Morgan Sasser

The New Musical Houses:                                                              

The Music Box was an amazing experiment that gave our team new ideas about the sonic, interactive and social possibilities of musical architecture. We plan to apply those lessons to the new musical houses.

We will continue to build with salvaged materials as part of this project’s original goal of imaginatively addressing blight in New Orleans. Similarly, the creation of each structure will again bring together visual and sound artists, but this time our artists will be collaborating with unique individuals and organizations from New Orleans and beyond. Some of our partner organizations include members of Mardi Gras Indian Tribes, New Orleans Master Crafts Guild, Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development, and Shreveport Regional Arts Council's UNSCENE! Residency. We are so excited about these partnerships that will bring different gifts and skills to the table like deep roots in our community or innovative building strategies.

Lead sound artist Taylor Shepherd and Operations Manager Tori Bush with Master Blacksmith Darryl Reeves and Jonn Hankins of the New Orleans Master Crafts Guild - our collaborators on a new musical house.
Lead sound artist Taylor Shepherd and Operations Manager Tori Bush with Master Blacksmith Darryl Reeves and Jonn Hankins of the New Orleans Master Crafts Guild - our collaborators on a new musical house.

Why New Orleans?

New Orleans is a national treasure, the incredible sum of all the influences and cultures that came by land, down the rivers and bayous, and across oceans to make it the unique place it is today. We love this town and we plan to evolve Dithyrambalina by working collaboratively across communities to advance the meaning and the experience of what musical architecture can be and how it can positively impact our community.  Through performances, educational workshops and artist residencies, we plan on having a resounding programming schedule that will give a great voice to our cultural community. Dithyrambalina will be a place for collaboration, imagination, and public exploration that honors the heritage of New Orleans while pushing our collective imagination.

Two friends chill out in the Rocking Chair, an invented instrument by Swiss artist Simon Berz, at The Music Box. photo Morgan Sasser
Two friends chill out in the Rocking Chair, an invented instrument by Swiss artist Simon Berz, at The Music Box. photo Morgan Sasser

Why Kickstarter?
We love the inclusive and revolutionary spirit of Kickstarter and were amazed to see its power in action during our first campaign. Without the support of our Kickstarter donors, The Music Box would have never become a reality. By supporting us through Kickstarter now you become one of the many hands creating Dithyrambalina. We are also using this Kickstarter campaign to highlight all the brilliant minds and hands that have already gone into this project through premiums which feature donated work by dozens of the amazing 100+ artistic and musical collaborators to date. 

Info on Rewards:

$25.00 Reward: A downloadable mix tape of donated tracks by over 50 of our amazing collaborating musicians including superstars like Mannie Fresh of Cash Money Records and Andrew W.K., New Orleans jazz legends like Ben Jaffe, and many other musicians
$25.00 Reward: A downloadable mix tape of donated tracks by over 50 of our amazing collaborating musicians including superstars like Mannie Fresh of Cash Money Records and Andrew W.K., New Orleans jazz legends like Ben Jaffe, and many other musicians
$50 Level: A selection of Music Box collectibles including this hand drawn flyer from Thurston Moore's performance.
$50 Level: A selection of Music Box collectibles including this hand drawn flyer from Thurston Moore's performance.
$60.00 Reward: Signed 8x10" Photograph of Andrew WK or Mannie Fresh performing on the Vox Murum. At the $100 level your own voice can be played through the same talking wall that Andrew is playing and turned into a song for Dithyrambalina's archive.
$60.00 Reward: Signed 8x10" Photograph of Andrew WK or Mannie Fresh performing on the Vox Murum. At the $100 level your own voice can be played through the same talking wall that Andrew is playing and turned into a song for Dithyrambalina's archive.
$75.00 Reward: A calendar featuring photos by the many amazing photographers including Tod Seelie, William Widmer and more! (Theris Valvery, Flag Boy of the Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indian Tribe shown here. Photo By Melissa Stryker.
$75.00 Reward: A calendar featuring photos by the many amazing photographers including Tod Seelie, William Widmer and more! (Theris Valvery, Flag Boy of the Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indian Tribe shown here. Photo By Melissa Stryker.
$125.00 Reward: A postcard-size set of drawings of imaginary architecture by collaborating visual artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
$125.00 Reward: A postcard-size set of drawings of imaginary architecture by collaborating visual artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
$175.00 Reward: Ranjit Bhatnagar's DIY Invented Instrument Kit. Learn how to make your own oscillator!
$175.00 Reward: Ranjit Bhatnagar's DIY Invented Instrument Kit. Learn how to make your own oscillator!
$250.00 Reward: A visit to collaborating artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s beautiful studio and a demonstration of his incredible robotic Gamelatron orchestra.
$250.00 Reward: A visit to collaborating artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s beautiful studio and a demonstration of his incredible robotic Gamelatron orchestra.
$300.00 Reward: A limited edition 7” record of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and New Orleans legend Rob Cambre’s Secret Music Box performance signed by the musicians with cover art by Swoon.
$300.00 Reward: A limited edition 7” record of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and New Orleans legend Rob Cambre’s Secret Music Box performance signed by the musicians with cover art by Swoon.
$500.00 Reward: An original signed work by Swoon, Sambhavna Girls: An archival inkjet print on cotton rag with hand painting. Signed edition of 25. 19" x 13"
$500.00 Reward: An original signed work by Swoon, Sambhavna Girls: An archival inkjet print on cotton rag with hand painting. Signed edition of 25. 19" x 13"
$750.00 Reward: A visit to Swoon's studio
$750.00 Reward: A visit to Swoon's studio
$1000.00 Reward: Have a slumber party with the WEATHER WITCH! Iconic New Orleans inventor and musician Quintron will install his new prototype for a harmonic drone synthesizer that is completely modulated by the weather in your home for one night!
$1000.00 Reward: Have a slumber party with the WEATHER WITCH! Iconic New Orleans inventor and musician Quintron will install his new prototype for a harmonic drone synthesizer that is completely modulated by the weather in your home for one night!
$1000.00 Reward: Your very own Electric Curtain by collaborating artist Lindsay Karty (pictured on left playing the instrument).
$1000.00 Reward: Your very own Electric Curtain by collaborating artist Lindsay Karty (pictured on left playing the instrument).
$3000.00 Premium: From top left to right, top row: Ben Jaffe (NOLA), Meschiya Lake (NOLA), second row: Aurora Nealand (NOLA), Theresa Andersson (NOLA), third row: Luke Winslow King (NOLA), Japanther (NY). Have them come play at your house or party!
$3000.00 Premium: From top left to right, top row: Ben Jaffe (NOLA), Meschiya Lake (NOLA), second row: Aurora Nealand (NOLA), Theresa Andersson (NOLA), third row: Luke Winslow King (NOLA), Japanther (NY). Have them come play at your house or party!
$5,000.00 Reward: An original signed work by Swoon, Thalassa: Screenprint, hand painting and photography on paper mounted to wood, Signed edition variant of 14. 23" x 33"
$5,000.00 Reward: An original signed work by Swoon, Thalassa: Screenprint, hand painting and photography on paper mounted to wood, Signed edition variant of 14. 23" x 33"
$10,000.00 Reward: Create a lasting legacy- one of our musical houses will be named in your honor to be enjoyed by future generations. OR own a customized instrument of musical architecture for your own home created by a team of Airlift artists.
$10,000.00 Reward: Create a lasting legacy- one of our musical houses will be named in your honor to be enjoyed by future generations. OR own a customized instrument of musical architecture for your own home created by a team of Airlift artists.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

What are the risks and challenges that come with completing your project, and how are you qualified to overcome them?

Luckily we already know that we have a great formula for musical architecture based on the success of The Music Box. We also know a thing or two about how to build a musical house, but as we expand our vision for this project we are also expanding our network of contributors. Managing so many artists and partners can be tricky, but New Orleans Airlift has always based our process in collaboration and have learned many important lessons about how to successfully collaborate over the years.

Funding can always run short, but monies for this campaign goal will not come from this Kickstarter alone. We are supported by local and national foundations and are engaged in ongoing and diverse fundraising for many aspects of the Dithyrambalina project.

Looking down the line, we still need to find the perfect site for Dithyrambalina's permanent home in New Orleans. Part of the challenge is making sure we build where our impact will do the greatest good. Figuring this out means lots of discussions with community members, city officials, and ourselves. But we are not in a rush. We plan to let this village evolve gradually - like how a real town grows, adapting our vision along the way to suit the needs of our project and our community.

The musical houses created through this Kickstarter campaign are part of the journey - a way to share wonder and win support for a passionately ongoing endeavor.

FAQ

  • Musical Architecture combines fours distinct art mediums- architecture, visual art, sound art and performance into one unique built environment. Through designing new instruments and merging them into the walls, floors and windows of structures, musical architecture seeks to expand the idea of how people can experience and interact with space.

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    31 backers

    A "thank you, you are amazing!" shout out on Facebook and Twitter and a tax-deduction. Pledges at any level for this campaign are tax-deductible.

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    155 backers

    A Thank You Gift Set: Includes a thank you card featuring one of Swoon’s iconic designs, a downloadable mixtape of highlights from The Music Box recordings and a shout out on Facebook and Twitter.

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    A downloadable mixtape of donated tracks by over 50 of our amazing collaborating musicians including superstars like Mannie Fresh of Cash Money Records, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Andrew W.K., New Orleans jazz legend Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall, and many other musicians including some you’ve never heard of, but you should! Plus a thank you gift set.

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    NEW REWARD: One ticket to our benfit concert in New Orleans featuring Music Box alumni Ben Jaffe, Theresa Anderson, Luke Winslow-King, Aurora Nealand, Meschiya Lake, Rusty Lazer, Nicky Da B and many more. Hear the musicians who inspire are project throw down for the cause. Date TBA, but we will let donors know two months in advance.

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    101 backers

    A surprise package of Music Box collectibles. May include: Invented instrument technical drawings, Delaney Martin and Taylor Shepherd's original sketch for the Music Box village, a hand drawn flyer for Thurston Moore’s secret Music Box performance or a score for musical architecture by one of our conductors. Plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    Idol Worship: Choice of an autographed 8 x 10 photograph of Cash Money Records' legend Mannie Fresh or NY-based super star Andrew W.K. playing The Music Box. Photographs by Melissa Stryker. Plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    A calendar featuring photos by the many outstanding photographers who shot The Music Box experience including Tod Seelie, (Photographer of all Swoon's work and Rolling Stone contributor ), William Widmer (a New York Times regular contributor) and many more! Plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    Your voice (or any sound you record and digitally send) included on a Kickstarter Special Edition track created using collaborating artist Taylor Shepherd’s talking wall instrument, the Vox Murum. This collective song will become part of Dithyrambalina's sound archive. Plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    A postcard-size set of drawings of imaginary architecture by collaborating visual artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    A Do-It-Yourself invented instrument kit and downloadable instructional video by collaborating artist Ranjit Bhatnagar. Make your own mechanical oscillator! Plus you get a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    A group visit to collaborating artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s studio and a demonstration of his incredible robotic Gamelatron orchestra. (Aaron’s studio is in NYC so donors must be able to arrive there on their own with no more than one guest. Date to be negotiated between donor and artist.) Plus you get a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set!

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    A limited edition 7” record of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Rob Cambre’s Secret Music Box performance signed by the musicians with cover art by Swoon, plus a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    An original signed work by Swoon, Sambhavna Girls: An archival inkjet print on cotton rag with hand painting. Signed edition of 25. 19" x 13" (See sample below). Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    A visit to Swoon’s studio in New York. Meet Swoon and learn about her work and her process. (Swoon's studio is in NYC so donors must be able to arrive there on their own with no more than one guest. Date to be negotiated between donors and artist.) Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    Have a slumber party with the WEATHER WITCH! Iconic New Orleans inventor and musician Quintron will install his one-of-a-kind prototype for a weather modulated synthesizer in your home for a night! Listen to the Weather Witch play sunlight, moonlight, rainfall, wind and lightning depending on the weather. Bottle of tequila included with purchase. (Outside of NOLA, you pay travel and accommodation). Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    A self-installed version of the popular Music Box instrument The Electric Curtain, by Lindsay Karty. Hang it in your window and play musical architecture for your neighbors! Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    Have a private performance at your house or place of choosing by one of the following amazing Music Box performers. (Must be within 25 miles of New York or New Orleans. Limited to one performance per musician. First come, first serve. Negotiable dates.) NY: Japanther. NOLA: Ben Jaffe and Aurora Nealand, Meschiya Lake, Luke Winslow King or Theresa Andersson. Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set.

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    An original signed work by Swoon, Thalassa: Screenprint hand painting and photography on paper mounted to wood, Signed edition variant of 14. 23" x 33" (see images below.) Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set. (Please contact us if you are interested in larger original works by Swoon.)

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    Create a lasting legacy- one of our musical houses will be named in your honor to be enjoyed by future generations. OR own a customized instrument of musical architecture for your own home created by our artists. Plus, your name on our patron's page, a downloadable mixtape of tracks by our collaborating musicians and a thank you gift set. (Please contact us for more details. If outside of US please factor in travel and accommodation.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)