Sherds is a full scale touring performance based on Five Verses on Six Sacks of Earth, a micro opera by artists Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee.
I know small things. I let time go slow. Preserving a record – wearing it – bent bodied
Hawthorn. Curlew. Catherine. A Milk Bowl. Greg. An ensemble of musicians, vocalists, and sound-emitting sculptures perform five perspectives on landscape, history, and the process of excavation, articulating the out of sight and out of time.
Sherds is a new performance which inhabits the parameters of a six-week archaeological field school in a silage meadow during the record hot summer of 2018. The five verses unearth, reassemble, and form anew from passing conversations, local news, and the rhythms of the dig, incorporating energy production, moorland nesting sites, ceramic sherds, early modern melody, and geological vibrations.
The piece draws on the specialist practices of the ensemble, combining text, improvisation, live audio, acoustic chamber music, and collaborative scores.
In summer 2018, Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee were commissioned by In-Situ and Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership to be artists-in-residence on an archaeological dig at Malkin Tower farm. The resulting ‘micro-opera’ was shared locally in performances across Pendle.
The development of a full-scale performance based on this commission is being funded by Sound and Music, Jerwood Arts, Arts Council England, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Sherds was produced by Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee with musicians Kelly Jayne Jones, Sophie Cooper, Alison Cooper, Caroline Trutz, and Bobby Cotterill.