Artists In Their Own Words: Jane Cassidy
Who: Jane Cassidy
What: Multi disciplinary artist
Where: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Artist’s Chosen Location for Interview: Her studio
Q: What is a soundtrack for the morning, afternoon and evening for you?
A: Every morning my alarm clock goes off to country music. I listen to that for a little while, and then I might listen to the John Kelly show, which is a radio show out of Ireland on the weekdays. I listen to that most mornings. If I’m pottering around the house I’ll listen to a lot of reggae. Or a bit of D’Angelo. Or New Wave.
In the afternoon, recently it’s been my own music because I’m working on it so much.
At nighttime, every night before I got to bed I listen to classical music. And every Friday morning without fail for at least the last two years I’ve listened to ‘Need You Tonight’ by INXS. It just makes me feel like dynamite.
Q: What’s a snack that reminds you of childhood or growing up?
A: Cheddar cheese [Laughs]. There's some type of mature cheddar that, when I taste it, brings me back to beaches, sandy sandwiches and sideways rain.
I don’t even know what kind of cheese it is, specifically, but the closest I’ve found to it is a type of cheese from Wisconsin. I guess I was always a picky eater, so there aren’t that many other foods that I could really choose from.
Q: Tell me a story that involves a car without air conditioning.
A: Well, in Ireland cars don’t really have air conditioning. I remember when I was a kid we got the ferry to France. We were driving down the west coast. I think we were driving overnight. It was a really long drive.
I was only four, and we had a carton of milk, and the milk spilled in the car. And it was so hot. The smell was just awful, and that smell has stayed with me for my life. We couldn’t get rid of that smell for the whole holiday or long after. It was so bad. I like to think that maybe air conditioning could have helped that situation.
Q: What is something you’d like to add to the sky?
A: I don’t know if I’d be so presumptuous. But, something that comes to my mind immediately are prisms. Even this morning when I was pulling up my blinds, one of my prisms caught so much light, and I thought we need more prisms. I started searching through the house for other prisms I could find.
The artist Kimsooja did an installation in a huge greenhouse in Spain. She put refractive grating on all the windowpanes, and the whole place turned into a giant prism. I thought it was totally amazing.
And more stars. I’d like to see more stars in the city because I miss them a lot.
Q: What sport would you rather hear the sounds of rather than watch?
A: I don’t know that it would necessarily be “rather,” but a few weeks ago the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final was on. Kerry was playing Dublin. My friend Conor from Kerry was down visiting me, so I called up the local Irish sports bar and asked them, ‘You playing the All-Ireland final?’ Nobody knew what I was going on about, so we ended up listening to it on the radio.
It’s really funny because the commentators are so dynamic and exuberant. And also pretty biased. So it was so enjoyable to listen to them. I have such fond memories of being a kid, going down to the beach, and seeing old men with their transistor radios.
I remember one time we were listening to a boxing match on someone’s radio. It must have been the early 90s and the Olympics. Must have been Michael Carruth boxing. A load of us were gathered around the radio to see how he was getting on, and it was really sweet to see how this community could be built around something like that. That will always stay with me.
As a part of Cinema Reset, Jane Cassidy’s multimedia installation, “Music for Cars at Night on Country Roads” will be parked in front of the CAC October 16th-17th from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM. The installation is an immersive audiovisual installation where the audience is invited into a pickup truck to experience a 30-minute musical score accompanied with film footage. Jane will also release the full album from the installation on October 16. Visit Jane's bandcamp for free stream and digital download.
To learn more about Jane’s art and music, visit her website.
Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at [email protected].