Elegy and Observation is an environmental requiem. Drawing on ancient and modern texts, the piece leaps and lurches among perspectives from intimate to global, tender to catastrophic. So too, our perceived relationship to the natural world is constantly shifting, from the poet’s tension between fear and delight, to scientific observation, biblical prediction of catastrophe, the unassailable truth of species extinction, and the poetry of those who have experienced natural disaster.
Jacqueline Shatz’s work has been included in exhibitions at the June Kelly, Monique Knowlton, and Kouros galleries in New York City, and she has curated and organized many exhibitions, including CollageLogic which was last presented in 2012 at Hampden Gallery at UMass in Amherst. She is a recipient of a NEA Individual Fellowship, a Craft Alliance New Techniques grant and several NYFA SOS grants. She has been artist-in-residence at the Kohler Arts/Industry program, where she created a series of music box sculptures and collaborated on sound and sculptural installations for Glyndor Gallery at Wave Hill and on Governors Island. She had a show at The Garrison Art Center in 2015.
I was born in 1948, on Finnøy, an island with two hundred inhabitants. My family was living close to the factory where my father and grandfather were mechanics, making and installing engines for the fishing boats. During my childhood, there was an abundance of herring fishing going on every winter. The herring were caught in large nets and hauled up in smaller ones. When the weather was bad, the harbor was packed with boats, and big bunches of fishnets were hanging to be dried. Every summer holiday I spent with my grandparents, living on the tiny island Notholmen (not=net) on Hustadvika.
The songs comprising my October 2020 release, Ghosts of Our Former Selves, including the two presented here, were deliberately composed in a confessional mode. They form a forty-minute sonic memoir that draws on everything I have spent my six-plus decades learning as a composer of contemporary classical music (especially computer music) with deep roots in jazz and popular music traditions.
For a long time, I have used my body in creation of my work. The landscapes/maps on canvas are distillations of my urban wanderings, both physical and psychological. The emergence of these public performances—I’ll call them “urban en plein air interventions”—have become imperative for my survival “in the time of now.”