Story By: Christopher Leach of WGNO News
Under the glow of tiki torches, she hosts a speakeasy-esque concert series in her own backyard. It’s an intimate view of live music, during a year when live music has been very much elusive.
“I have been going to see concerts my whole life. I have never realized how much a musician needs an audience and how much an audience needs a musician,” says Emily Hingle.
The concerts feature many of the prominent musicians and artists of the city; across genres. There is usually a fire pit, drinks and cozy, socially distanced fun. The concerts come at a time when New Orleans is musically dry and is a throw back to better days before the effects of the pandemic, when musicians were working and Emily was working on her book.
Band Room: New Orleans was completed this year by Emily and showcases 35 different bands in various practice spaces around the city. The project started as an idea during the Mardi Gras of 2015.
Emily recalls the day inspiration overtook her, saying, “I started calling musicians I knew in the city and I said I have a crazy idea, can I come to your practice space and take pictures of it? A lot of people were like why? It’s kind of dirty in here.”
Emily is on a mission to show the character of the musicians of New Orleans. It’s an idea that resonates even more powerful in the absence of music during the pandemic.
“These people work every day, several hours a day, spending a lot of their life force, as any artisan does, to put this together for you. If you do know some musicians, ask them about that. They love to talk about the process. It’s kind of like watching a cooking show. During cooking shows, you get to see all of the ingredients and how they are processed in relationship to the overall dish. With music, you didn’t see that part until now!”
Emily Hopes to continue her live concert series in the spring.