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The Gamelatron Pendopo at the End of the Universe

Dates: October 1 2011 - June 1, 2012
Location: Piety Street at St Claude in the 9th Ward New Orleans, LA

Description: The Pendopo at the End of the Universe is part of the Music Box Shanty Town project by the New Orleans Airlift. The Music Box is an interactive musical village in the city of New Orleans on the site of a collapsed house from 1792. It was built by over 23 artists, using the materials from the collapsed house as well as other salvaged materials. Each structure houses an invented instrument that investigates the notion of playing a house. The sound artists who made these instruments are experimenting with musical architecture. They are preparing for Dithyrambalina, a full-scale musical house collaboration with the artist Swoon.


This temporary installation can be explored by visitors of all ages who are encouraged to play the town. The Music Box also hosted a three-part series of performances. The Shantytown Orchestra was comprised of a changing roster of world class musicians under the conductor Quintron. During these performances musicians took their stations amongst the shanties and shacks where they played invented instruments for sold out audiences. Dithyrambalina.com

The Pendopo at the End of the Universe is an 8ft (2.6m) cube with a 10ft (3.2m) 4-sided peaked roof made entirely of reclaimed materials salvaged from buildings in and around New Orleans,. The roof is corrugated tin thatched in Palmettos. The interior features a south facing 9-colored mandala inspired by the Pangidir Bhuwana (An old Balinese religious text that explains the correlations between sounds and the cardinal direction of the universe) that spans the floor and walls in front of 4 antique Balinese Gender Wayang vibraphone played by 80 robotic mallets and mutes.

The entire piece was designed to be able to be picked up by a forklift and loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported anywhere the road will take it. It functions both as part of the Music Box but also as a stand-alone artwork.

In the center of the floor is a table with a lotus flower arcade button MIDI controller and a set of drum pads that allows the audience to choose between 2 modes of function. In the user mode each button and pad correspond to different chords on the instrument, allowing the audience to create their own music. In player mode each button triggers a different composition written by Taylor Kuffner dedicated to the 9 cardinal directions of the Mandala.

Kuning: Sun Through The Trees, The comosition behind the yellow button that lives in the east

Download: http://gamelatron.com/music/kuning_sunthroughthetrees.mp3, 2:18 2.6meg


Three videos shot onsite