Heart of Louisiana: Playing the Staircase

Playing the Staircase musician series
Playing the Staircase musician series(Source: Hammond Regional Arts Center website)
Updated: Sep. 25, 2018 at 9:19 PM CDT
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HAMMOND (WVUE) - Perhaps the most dominant feature of the Hammond Regional Arts Center is a white staircase that cuts through the middle of a historic downtown building. That staircase has become the stage for a series of concerts by area singer-songwriters.

“I hope that you will enjoy your journey with Ameal and his original song,” said Maureen Joyce.

His name is Ameal Cameron, and he’s from New Orleans. His performance is taking place on the narrow landing of a staircase in an old department store-turned arts center.

“We love that we’ve started this Playing the Staircase musician series, because it focuses on the original music,” Joyce said.

One evening a month, the staircase becomes a performance space. This environment is a “listening room” where there are no distractions getting in the way of the music.

“I hope they find some way to relate to my songs,” Cameron said. “Maybe give them a peace of mind, something they might be struggling with. Usually when I play at restaurants, usually like when I first start, seeing the first 30 minutes, people like pay attention. But here, the crowd is like fully engaged the whole time.”

It’s called Hush, and it’s like the title says, it’s about wanting someone to stop talking to you. The songs are full of emotion; the artist bares his soul and invites you to join him.

“Heartbreak, happiness, anger. Just the whole range of emotions, jealousy,” Cameron said.

Here, the art of music is also framed by visual art - the works of other local artists that are showcased in the gallery.

“I thought, people are ready to just come and sit and listen to good music,” Joyce said. “Kind of go on a journey with the musician just like they go on a journey with the visual art with us. And so it just creates that perfect relationship.”

It’s one of those rare, quiet moments where the words and melodies can make us think, share feelings, or just relax and know that we are not alone.

They will be playing the staircase again this Friday night (Sept. 28) at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. Also, musician Ameal Cameron has released a new album of his original songs.

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