Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Miele’s Melissa Lee Nilles and Cedric Lamour plan to perform Sunday to launch a safe Backyard Music Salon Series. (Photo: Miele via Facebook)

A veteran of PorchFest is moving location because of the coronavirus: to the backyard.

Melissa Lee Nilles, singer for the band Miele, has announced a Backyard Music Salon Series – “a very small, socially distanced and masked gathering of people in a beautiful open-air backyard space” at 220 Highland Ave., in Somerville’s Spring Hill neighborhood.

Unlike Somerville’s citywide front-porch May day of concerts, where musicians as recently as last year drew big crowds to their sidewalks, only up to 10 people can fit in the series’ backyard space safely. The two-hour event starts with live music, followed by a facilitated discussion about the set afterward between musicians and the audience. “The capacity limit to the audience will be positive for these events, as it will keep the atmosphere intimate as to provide a safer space for sharing and discussion,” said Nilles, a licensed therapist who said that although the discussion “may be likely therapeutic for attendees and/or the artist, it will technically not be therapy.”

“I want to make sure I can provide a positive force for good during this time with the series,” Nilles said. “I hope this will be a public service as well as an enjoyable concert and event, and hope to compensate the artists and myself appropriately for our time.”

The tickets are sliding scale from $10 to $20 (and obviously can go fast). Attendees can avoid Eventbrite fees by paying by Venmo.

The series starts with Miele, with its art rock, psychedelia, soul, metal and alternative influences, performing as a Nilles-Cedric Lamour duo from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday – “We really miss playing out live,” she said – followed by Rob Flax on Sept. 12 and Alex Hutson on Sept. 20.

The series’ slogan? “New England artists in a familiar setting in an unfamiliar time.” (And, for good measure, “Safe. Local. Fun.”)

Information on the series is here.