Episode 77: The Self-Rattling House

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In New Orleans, Will Oldham, Solange Knowles, and five-year-old children have all played a (mega-) phone booth, the “self-rattling house,” and a vocal processor that mimics the experience of neighbors talking through walls. Each of these homemade instruments is part of Music Box Village, a project that turns architecture—in the form of a sprawling complex of makeshift buildings—into an investigation of sound, but it also returns performers to the intuitive composition and experimentation of first learning to play.

Also in this episode, Malcolm Margolin of Heyday Books talks about his “wanderjahr” (“I got fired for not wearing a uniform,”) huckleberry bushes, living with Parkinson’s, and the spontaneity of book publishing. Finally, the poet Ryan Tucker describes, in a luminous iTunes review, his transformative experiences as a WWI fighter pilot, for whom the Organist podcast unlocked the ethereal realm.