For the cellist Rebecca Merblum, music has never been a standalone art. It was never just about playing for the audience, but about listening and experiencing people and things around you. For her, sound and listening have always had topography. Each is connected to experiences and relationships. And then the pandemic emerged, and Merblum’s relationship to performance and music drastically shifted. So began the “Conversations for Duet with Cello."
Over the past year, Merblum has led evolving, virtual conversations with artist and landscape architect Rebecca Krinke, museum professional Lesley Kadish, and her cello. The central question was: What happens when the audience is invited into the performance itself, inside the conversation? What happens if, instead of playing for the audience, Merblum were to have a direct, one-on-one conversation with a member of the public? What would we hear then?
This conversation is the culmination of that year-long conversation. Moderated by poet Mwatabu Okantah, this event will be part performance, part interactive experiment, part panel discussion, asking attendees to personally engage with presenters to explore the question: What do we hear?