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Space Rites' Gong Show Up Next

By Cody Hoover

Airlift New Orlean's current project, Space Rites is well underway at the formerly abandoned St. Maurice Church in the Lower Ninth Ward. After two well atended performances, the roster for the thrid show is out. The next installation will feature Tatsuya Nakatani's avant garde Gong Orchestra.


Lead artist Taylor Lee Shepherd built an altarpiece from over fifty televisions donated by Goodwill that were rewired to reflect sound waves created by musician's performances. Besides services held by Rev. Duplessis of Mt. Nebo Bible Church every Sunday at St. Maurice, Airlift has already produced two other performances in conjunction with the triply oscilloscope alter. 


The first set was on 10/26 with the Lower Ninth Ward Senior Center Choir and a younger, weird art choir called the Murmurations Choir. The second was on November 15th and featured New Orleans guitarist Rob Cambre and Nels Cline of Wilco.


The church building, located at 605 St. Maurice Avenue, is owned by the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. They asked Airlift, a multidisciplinary initiative that promotes and produces underground/folk culture in New Orleans (including the massively popular musical shanty town called the Music Box), to create something in the space. The subsequent work constructed in the church is responsive to sound, thus interactive. Airlift's intentions are to bring the changing demographics of the Lower Ninth (and New Orleans in general) together in harmonious sound and vision.


The next performance starts at 7:00pm on 11/22, featuring experimental Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani's Gong Orchestra. For each show he performs he selects and trains local gong players to play his avant-garde, non-linear compositions. $10 at the door.

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