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James Joyce's "Chamber Music"

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James Joyce learning resource launched at Everyman 

English academic, Dr Gerry Smyth launched his long-awaited James Joyce Chamber Music digital resource at the Everyman Theatre with a live performance of three pieces with his daughter, Esther.

The resource, hosted exclusively on the LJMU website, holds a unique collection of poems, essays, videos and reference materials dedicated to the work of the Irish writer. Chamber Music is a suite of 36 lyrics originally published by Joyce in 1907. Dr Smyth is a leading authority on Joyce and teaches two of his books on the BA (Hons) English programme.

Professor Roger Webster, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies opened the event and welcomed Professor Matthew Campbell, Professor of Modern Literature at the University of York who talked about James Joyce’s life, his poetry and how Dr Smyth has advanced the work of Joyce through his thoughtful fusion of his poetry with folk music.

Dr Smyth and Esther then performed music from the album 'James Joyce's 'Chamber Music': New ‘Folkish' Settings of the Thirty-Six Lyrics' which they have both performed widely across Europe. The pair performed the pieces Winds of May, Go Seek Her Out All Courteously, and finished with a performance of This Heart That Flutters Near My Heart, followed by rapturous applause from the assembled audience of friends, family and colleagues.

Speaking about the digital collection, Dr Smyth said:

The humanities continually evolve with new technologies. Traditional forms should be combined with new technologies especially when presenting in a particular medium like the web. This collaborative project is an ambitious platform and I’d like to thank everyone at LJMU and beyond who have supported me in this project in a truly collegiate way.

Dr Gerry Smyth

Launch of James Joyce's Chamber Music: A free online learning resource

In 2012 Dr Gerry Smyth recorded an album entitled James Joyce’s ‘Chamber Music’: New ‘Folkish’ Settings of the Thirty-Six Lyrics.

Besides a wide range of textual materials, this site provides video commentary on both the poetic and musical aspects of Chamber Music, as well as video performances of all thirty-six of the newly composed versions.