Instrumentation: Solo or chamber ensemble (Any of the following, either individually or in combination, amplified: bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, mezzo, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, viola, cello, marimba, multi-percussion, piano) with electronic playback and optional video
Ensemble Barcelona Nueva Musica
VIII Festival de Cinema Indepent de Alternative, Barcelona, Spain
Grito del Corazón was inspired by Goya’s “Black Paintings. ” Their haunting, stark quality was deeply compelling to both myself and artist Kathy Aoki. When the Ensemble Barcelona Nuova Musica wanted to commission a work for their Painting Music program, premiered on November 20, 2001 at the VIII Festival de CinemaIndependent de Alternativa 2001, I immediately recalled my intense response to Goya’s paintings in the Prado, and suggested this theme. These paintings surrounded Goya in his home known as the “Deaf House,” because a devastating illness had left him completely deaf. The contents of the paintings deal with terrifying subject matter, such as Saturn devouring his Son (Saturno Devorando a su Hijo). In all cases, the images invoke fear and trembling. I met video artist Kathy Aoki at the MacDowell Artist Colony, and that meeting led to the decision to collaborate on this project, with the video as an optional performance element. Kathy is based in the San Francisco Bay area and has created a number of multimedia works, as well as fine art prints and art books.–JS
The score involves guided improvisation, with the sonic world inspired by and reflective of both the digital musical and visual images. Versions are available for a variety of solo and chamber combinations, and the piece has been played by a multitude of soloists, and ensembles including Da Capo Chamber Players, Figura Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Rare Degree and soloists such as cellist Madeleine Shapiro and saxophonist Michael Straus. The version for sax has been recorded by William Perconti on the Centaur label.
“…Both music and video evoked the terror and intensity of Goya’s Black Paintings compellingly.” –Journal SEAMUS, Vol. 18, No. 1
“…Judith Shatin’s Grito del Corazon stood out because of the beautiful blending of the acoustic instruments and the electronics.”
–Australian Clarinet and Saxophone, Vol. II #3