This Saturday, April 8, The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will literally perform upon the waters of Lake Pontchartrain at the Seabrook Boat Launch. The LPO will play an original work by Yotam Haber titled “New Water Music,” and for the occasion it has partnered with New Orleans Airlift to create a lively and celebratory event that brings attention to the somber and critical coastal erosion issues affecting the Louisiana coastline.
Wherever The Music Box has been located—on Piety Street, in Shreveport, City Park, or Tampa—musicians have “played” the instruments built by artists into architectural structures. Some structures are the picture of low-tech, such as Elizabeth Shannon’s dome-shaped shaker—a wire cage wrapped in lace on the outside with bells on the inside.
Each of New Orleans Airlift’s Music Boxes has been different. The original collection of musical architecture in the Bywater was crammed on a Piety Street lot with a density that gave each fort and shack-like structure a view of others, but none could clearly see all the others.
The Music Box Roving Village in City Park is a flexible musical, artistic space. On its opening weekend, the performance conducted by William Parker evoked old school avant-garde, complete with a “town crier” walking through the crowd with a bullhorn reading a text about class and improvisation, and a woman dancing and carrying a censer through the crowd.
(The Music Box: Roving Village City Park opens Friday with concerts at 7 and 9 p.m., then Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. It will remain in place until May 10, and it will be open to the public on the weekends from noon to 6 p.m. Yesterday, we presented the first half of this story, focusing on the journey of The Music Box from The Bywater in 2011 to City Park today.
Big chunks of City Park appear largely unreclaimed, particularly the parts that were once golf courses that ran along much of the length of Wisner Drive. Turn on Harrison and where a green once stood partly guarded by a pond, a new, temporary Music Box is being built.
I was amused on Saturday that Kirsha Kaechele led with her chin to re-enter the contemporary art conversation in New Orleans. She has been vilified as a wealthy art dilettante, and her activities timed to coincide with the start of Prospect 3 put money at the center. She literally put up $100,000 for a gun buy-back program, and the recording studio in a car wash on Franklin Avenue was tricked out with faux luxe.