The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory


If The Music Box was America, the Shantytown Sound Laboratory would be our Plymouth Rock.


The Music Box: A Shantytown Sound Laboratory (2011-12) on Piety St. in New Orleans was our first installation of musical architecture, acting as a testing ground and proof-of-concept for our vision of what musical architecture could be. The installation was built from the salvaged remains of a 250 year-old house on the site where it had stood. Invented instruments were embedded into walls, ceilings, and floors of nine small structures that supported boundary-breaking musical performances and inspired wonder, exploration and invention in visitors of all ages.

Created by 25 collaborating artists, performed on by over 70 world-class musicians and attended by over 15,000 visitors and 500+students, The Music Box captured the hearts of the New Orleans community. In addition to seven orchestral concerts led by conductors, the instruments of The Music Box were put to test in recordings sessions and pop-up performances by amazing and diverse musicians including Thurston Moore, Dark Dark Dark, the sample-based band Javelin, the Brooklyn pop punk duo Japanther, and noise heroes Black Dice.

Thanks to all the artists, staff, volunteers, musicians and neighbors who made the magic of The Music Box possible.

Artistic Director: Delaney Martin
Associate Curators: Taylor Shepherd, Theo Eliezer, & Swoon
Musical Curator and Cheif Conductor: Quintron
Associate Musical Curator: Jay Pennington

Press: Nola, Voanews, NPR, NY Mag 

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