Mobile Piano Anna
April 1, 2015 - single portrait
As SXSW 2015 ends, it reminds me of my time at this famed festival last year. You get to meet a lot of interesting people. One of which I met Anna, who lives in a motorhome that’s a makeshift “mobile venue”. Anna, originally from Montana has lived in New Orleans for the last few months after purchasing a friend’s customized motor home in Vermont and immediately driving down there. She has been parking in the french quarter playing the piano and singing out of her home to make a living ever since. Living in Vermont and playing with a touring band for the last five years has made her yearn to play music on the road. She wanted to experience something more real and didn’t want to communicate her music in this digital world of ours. She would much rather interact with people although a lot of people have a hard time with that. She noticed on the street that its very rare when someone will look at her. A lot of people will only look at her through their smart phones…..its almost like people don’t know how to use their natural memories anymore she said
When purchasing the motorhome she thought that she could do what she loved to do all year round. Its not an easy lifestyle with hauling water, chopping firewood, fixing a leaking roof and constant upkeep of the vehicle, but I can tell she loves it. After a few months in New Orleans and Mardi Gras, she needed a break and decided to come to Austin for SXSW to challenge herself and test the waters in a festival environment. If it’s successful she plans on going to other festival this summer. Her music is just a piano and her voice. She has a kind of ragtime type voice, very unique and powerful. She gave me a couple cd’s but insists she doesn’t sound as good as she does in her live setting she has created. The crowds on the east side of 6th street walk by, some take notice, others say a few things as they pass by and others are really enamored by it and ask Anna a lot of questions. At night, she serves up free food to those who come to listen in between songs and lights up the inside of her motorhome with christmas lights and old lanterns. After SXSW she plans to head back to New Orleans and maybe head north to visit friends and play for people. I really liked meeting Anna and hearing her fresh perspective on life.