project image
Valerie Shively

first performed on October 23, 2021
Long Dock Park, Beacon, NY
performed once in 2021


Stephen Vitiello (sound loop), Nancy Cohen (glass sculptures)

New York City, NY

“Soon Is Now” was a festival on climate change at a park by the Hudson River. To integrate the environment as ecological porosity, the audience was brought through the park for each performer’s presentation.

here by the rocks, as the audience arrives to absorb our time, I realize my landscape has transformed, no longer me facing them, but us passing time together, what this does is realign obstructions of judgement into a shared ecology, an atmosphere for mutual nomads, embodied by the objects that define me, the words I’ve become have always been there, this patch of earth is my poem, tube fabric sound, all become grass rock sky, I pick up a book object, speak of a man riding inside a boy riding inside a sky, the book, a reminder of my man-self, I begin unfurling one of my found objects, how easily fabric fits inside a long tube, a hollow appendage, calling for air, mining the wind I find my breath, by the water, I unscroll a prayer, connected to this earth by a metal object, manmade for music, this object, my brethren, letting me hold its arm, unscroll its arm, my gestures, empathic of the given moment, with wind-fabric around my mouth, I unroll the scroll, proceed to chant its mantra, step by step I remain connected, between me and my brother I am singing to my mother, my mother’s mother, as wind rims the surface, tries to rip the paper, I venture further away by the shore, and release the edge, to form the landscapes I have become, out of words as selves, I retrieve from the water, slips that have torn off, I take my wet hands, and approach the waiting nomads, with a few flicks of fingers, on you, and you, and you, in a blessing of water and language, as a sound I remember, continues to loop, endlessly, over a tiny bluetooth speaker, hidden in the grass, the glass sculptures, mimicry of my scattered holdings, unheld but heard, in the being of this shared whirl, the stage is set, to end and continue, as nature intended :

I wanted to portray the rhythmic immersions of the poem, as if the wave forms we emulate are representations of the movements we’re from. To take maternal earth at the crossroads of lineage, as the many births that have formed the many others we’ve become.