The Christian Science Monitor

In New Orleans, making music from hurricane leftovers

Leah Hennessy, creative director of the Music Box Village in New Orleans, pulls levers that expel compressed gas through horns on an exhibit titled "The Delphine," created by Swoon and Darryl Reeves in collaboration with the New Orleans Master Crafts Guild. Source: Stephen Humphries/The Christian Science Monitor

Leah Hennessy steps into a telephone booth in the center of the Music Box Village, a permanent outdoor arts exhibition, and lifts the receiver. There’s no dial tone. The booth is an unusual musical instrument, one of the many exhibits that Ms. Hennessy oversees as the venue’s creative producer. When she sings “You Are My Sunshine” into the mouthpiece, a horn-shaped speaker on top of the booth broadcasts her voice. The horn starts to rotate like a weather vane in a gale. In a nifty effect, it distorts Ms. Hennessy’s voice so that it warbles like a gramophone record.

If inventor Rube Goldberg were to transform a junkyard into musical architecture,

“We’re going to come back”Building communities

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