PRISM Quartet with Tony Arnold and Arturo O’Farrill: Mending Wall

  • New York
    Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
  • February 14, 2022
    8:00 pm
  • Project Grants

Mending Wall is a fully staged concert exploring the meaning of walls in our world by giving musical form to questions about identity, community, division, and freedom. Soprano Tony Arnold and pianist Arturo O’Farrill join the PRISM Quartet in world premiere performances of works by four visionary composers—Martin Bresnick, George Lewis, Juri Seo, and O’Farrill—who take inspiration from poetry by Robert Frost, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Waly Salomão, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Directed by Jorinde Keesmaat with lighting design by Aaron Copp.


“Walls are a foundational part of our world: they have mythical and poetic resonance, but also material consequences. The project began as a response to the idea of a wall as a dehumanizing force. Although America’s current zeal for wall-building has counterparts throughout history and across the globe, it represents a specific failure of imagination. As artists, we’re called to build another kind of structure: a collaborative experiment that restores mystery, complexity, and generosity to our encounters with one another. Mending Wall amplifies a range of musical and poetic voices; Our hope is that the project will illuminate and help us to confront and mend fractures in our human community.”

—Matthew Levy, executive and co-artistic director of the PRISM Quartet.

Stage director Jorinde Keesmaat writes, “Nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed Mending Wall‘s premiere, the production itself has evolved in response to this global blaze. Through new staging and lighting, we are exploring the paradox of personal contact: our simultaneous discomfort with strangers and our intrinsic longing for human connection, the psychological effects of isolation and our basic need for one another’s warmth. Mending Wall still examines the complicated meaning of boundaries — physical and invisible — but it’s also about fear giving way to hope.”

Tony Arnold, soprano
Arturo O’Farrill, piano

PRISM Quartet:

Timothy McAllister, soprano saxophone
Zachary Shemon, alto saxophone
Matthew Levy, tenor saxophone
Taimur Sullivan, baritone saxophone

Jorinde Keesmaat, stage direction and set design
Aaron Copp, lighting design

Please note: this performance will be in person only and will not be live streamed.


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