07/23/2012 08:04 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Inside New Orleans' Giant Music Box (VIDEO)

Ah, the summer road trip. A classic pilgrimage for Jack Kerouac's and RV-driving Americans alike. If you're headed down south, New Orleans is a city you cannot skip past. Especially now that it's got an unbelievably strange and beautiful music box shantytown in its historic Bywater section of town.

The house, writer Jamie Katz describes in Smithsonian Magazine's June issue, is unlike anything you've ever seen before:

"At first glance, the ramshackle structure looks like some-thing out of Spanky and 'Our Gang'--a kid-size shantytown cobbled together without adult supervision from old lumber and junkyard castoffs. This is no playground, however. The Music Box, in the historic Bywater section of New Orleans, is a new performance space consisting of nine shacks, rigged by a team of musicians, artists, inventors and tinkerers to coax novel sounds from salvaged building materials--musical architecture."

What is this village of whimsical sounds made of? Materials salvaged from an 18th-century Creole cottage that collapsed in 2009. Want to hear what the Music Box has to offer? Listen.