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A design commission presented by MPavilion, Open House Melbourne and Melbourne Music Week, MERGE is a collaborative project that sees five local music acts respond to—and perform in—five local heritage locations, to majestic effect. The artists chosen for MERGE represent a microcosm of the eclectic musical talent that has made Melbourne a global music hub.

MERGE is a feast for the ears, eyes and mind with Hachiku’s dreamy pop sounds in the opulent Como House and the cuttingly honest voice of IJALE echoing through the vibrant Australian Tapestry Workshop. Meanwhile, Mara Schwerdtfeger’s hypnotic viola solo floats amongst the panoramic walls of the Villa Alba, while the ambient soundscapes of The Opals reverberate through the 130-year-old Solidarity Hall at Victorian Trades Hall Council. Across the moody hallways of Trades, the bombastic Shelly Senbei pulsates throughout the 1880’s splendour of the Old Council Chamber.

And as if all of that wasn’t mesmerising enough, the artists will be decked out in custom-made garments by Melbourne’s new garde of fashion designers from RMIT University’s Bachelor of Fashion (Design). They include Ellen Reesen and Georgia McNaughton, Lilli McKenzie, Wenyi Wang and Yujia Melody Ma, Zoe May, Liam Ramirez and Claudia Sforzti.

One Night. All Online. All Free. 

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MERGE is presented by MPavilion, Open House Melbourne and Melbourne Music Week. Supported by Victorian Trades Hall Council, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Australian Tapestry Workshop. With thanks to RMIT University Bachelor of Fashion. 

For part two of the project, these musicians will perform their new musical work as part of MPavilion 2020’s expanded program and Melbourne Music Week, live at MPavilion.