French Quarter Phantoms

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The Music Tree- Bayou St. John

The Music Tree is a beautiful piece of outdoor artwork in the Bayou St. John area of New Orleans. It was created by artist Marlin Miller, who used a chainsaw to create beautiful designs that are symbolic of the area's history and culture. The tree is located on the Jefferson Davis Trail, on the intersection of Orleans Avenue and Bayou St. John.

While this tree survived Hurricane Katrina alive, it was actually killed by lightning seven years later by Hurricane Isaac. The hurricane completely destroyed many of the trees in this area, but this one was left standing even though it was dead. A few years later, Marlin Miller was approached to turn the tree into a piece of artwork for the Bayou Boogaloo, which is a local celebration that happens each spring. The organization was raising money to plant new trees in the area, so turning an existing one into artwork seemed fitting.

Miller is a sculptor who has worked in many different mediums and has created many tree carvings in the area. This tree is in a very historical area, where the French first came to New Orleans, so it made sense as a place to represent the city's unique history and culture. There are a variety of different symbols on the tree, such as an eagle, a fleur de lis, snakes, and a pelican. There is also a guitar and music notes, which represent the city's musical history and culture. Miller chose to leave the outer branches on the tree and transform them into birds.

Because of the tree's scale and the relative barrenness of the surrounding area, you can see the tree quite clearly as you are passing by. New Orleans is a beautifully diverse city full of art, music, and history, and this tree represents that. However, New Orleans has also experienced quite a bit of sadness and tragedy, and this tree represents that part of the city's history as well. The beauty of this tree is a sign that sometimes the most beautiful things come out of the most tragic circumstances.