Kelsey Marden
photographer. writer. designer.
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Writing & Photography: Amplified Cactus

The Amplified Cactus Art, Music, and Performance Series Builds a Community.


An intimate audience, faintly chattering with wine glasses in hands, quieted at the sound of a cactus being played over an amplifier. And yes, you read that correctly: I said playing a cactus.

This was the scene of the Amplified Cactus event on Thursday, March 9—the fourth in a series of six—at Spirits of Mt. Vernon. The prompt-based performance series always starts the evening with this odd musical plant presentation, making each guest wonder what could possibly be in store for them next.

A brief moment of silence echoed before pianist Aaron Thacker, a Peabody Conservatory grad, began the night’s journey. Framed by wooden shelves and wine bottles, Thacker played a haunting melody paired with the vocals of a seasoned opera singer.

It only took that first key to engage the audience and set the bar for the remaining talent yet to have performed that night.

Some may find a wine shop to be an odd venue for an art performance event, and they’re right.

Click HERE for the full article published on BmoreArt.