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Tue, June 13, 2017, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM BST
On Tuesday 13th June, 7pm we are delighted to welcome Georgina Binnie & Gerry Smyth to the Irish World Heritage Centre to celebrate Bloomsday 17.
Georgina, based at the University of Leeds, will give a fascinating talk about Joyce and photograpy entitled,‘I am getting on swimming in the photo business now’: James Joyce, Ulysses and the ‘Photo girl’, which explores the development of popular photography and visual culture in Joyce's Ulysses with reference to George Eastman's 'Kodak Girl' and Milly Bloom.
Gerry Smyth will perform songs from his own album of music drawing on Joyce's first publication of note, 'Chamber Music' (1907) comprised of thirty-six Elizabethan-style love lyrics written during his early years in Dublin and after he moved away from the city of his birth in 1904. Though a writer by trade, Joyce had a highly-developed musical imagination, and he wrote these lyrics not as ‘poems-to-be-read’ but as ‘songs-to-be-sung’.
In 2012, Prof Gerry Smyth of Liverpool John Moores University set and recorded all 36 lyrics. The resulting album represented one of only two attempts to render the entire suite in a consistent musical style or genre (the other was by American composer Ross Lee Finney in the 1950s).Taking a cue from the image of the loved-up troubadour singing to his beloved accompanied only by his lute, Professor Smyth raided the archive of folky singer-songwriters for musical inspiration. Despite potential for elaboration, arrangements have been deliberately kept to a minimum: each song features just one instrument (guitar) and one voice.
Originally from Dublin but now based in Liverpool, Gerry is a musician, actor, playwright and academic who has published widely on various aspects of Irish cultural history. His latest book is Music and Irish Identity: Celtic Tiger Blues (Routledge, 2017). Georgina recently completed a PhD on James Joyce, is an editorial assistant for the James Joyce Broadsheet and Project Officer for 'Writing Back', a volunteer pen-pal scheme where older Yorkshire residents exchange letters with university students, many of whom are away from home for the first time.