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James Joyce evening of song at Bozar on 1 June

Pomes Penyeach Bozar
13:47 19/05/2022

Pomes Penyeach is a unique and thrilling project that transforms the poetry of James Joyce into song. The one-off evening at Bozar in Brussels is organised by the Irish Embassy in a collaboration with The Museum of Literature Ireland and the Saint Patrick's Festival.

Composed by Adrian Crowley and Matthew Nolan, the new work is inspired by a collection of 13 short poems by the modernist Irish writer, first published in 1927 by Shakespeare & Company of Paris.

The title, Pomes Penyeach, is a typical Joycean play on words. In Irish, it means 'poems for a penny each' as the collection was published for the price of one shilling, or 12 pennies. The 13th poem was a bonus ‘tilly’; a former custom of Irish tradespeople to offer an extra serving, similar to the ‘baker’s dozen’ that provided 13 loaves.

This project is a result of a collaboration between academic composer Matthew Nolan and singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley. Nolan first discovered Joyce's collection 30 years ago and long held an ambition to see the elegiac collection set to song. The resulting breath-taking work has a panoramic quality that not only stands up as a transportive musical journey, but also as a testament to the timelessness of Joyce's verse.

It features Adrian Crowley (vocals, piano, acoustic guitar & mellotron) and Matthew Nolan (electric guitar, omnichord, & synth), along with an invited ensemble of some of Ireland’s forerunning contemporary players: Anna Mieke (vocals), Kevin Murphy (cello) and Sean Mac Erlaine (percussion and electronics).

Pomes Penyeach – James Joyce Set to Song
1 June, 19.30
Rue Ravenstein 23, Brussels

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Written by The Bulletin