'People talk of my influence on my daughter, but what about her influence on me?" James Joyce, 1934
As part of the celebrations marking the centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses taking place in Dublin and globally on the 16th of June 2022, Axis Ballymun presented the world premiere of ‘LUCIA’ - a suite for guitar and strings composed by multi-award nominated musician Joseph Chester.
Lucia Joyce spent 47 years in institutions as a result of mental illness, including long periods in isolation. She died in the notoriously cruel St. Andrew’s asylum, Northampton at the age of 75. And yet, in her youth she had shown enormous potential, as a dancer and illustrator. Over the course of two years, Chester took ten key moments from the life of Lucia Joyce, ten facts of her existence, and composed a piece of music for each, to pay tribute to her, to bear witness to her and, in some fantastical, imaginary way, let her speak. The Paris Times wrote that, “James Joyce may yet be known as his daughter’s father." Some say she was a muse for Finnegans Wake. Her father described her as, “A fantastic being with a mind as clear and unsparing as the lightning.” However, after undergoing tests, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was committed in 1936.
She would never know freedom again.
Over 11 instrumental pieces Chester is joined by renowned musicians Trevor Hutchinson, Steve Wickham, Vyvienne Long and Kenneth Rice to tell the story of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce. 2022 marks the centenary celebrations of the release of his seminal work, Ulysses.
2. The Little Match Girl
3. La Princesse Primitive
4. The Jury's Verdict
6. Fragment From Work in Progress
7. Nuvoluccia in her Lightdress
8. Candlemas, 1932
10. What's he Doing Under the Ground, That Idiot?
11. A Flower Given to my Daughter
Images courtesy of the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.
released January 27, 2023
Guitar, Piano, Organ : Joseph Chester
Contrebasse : Trevor Hutchinson
Cello : Vyvienne Long
Violin : Kenneth Rice
Violin, Viola : Steve Wickham
Composed and scored for Guitar & Strings by Joseph Chester
Scores available from www.joechester.com/scores
Image courtesy of the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.
Joe Chester's albums have been written about in the books 101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, by Tony Clayton-Lea
and Buried Treasure by Dan Hegarty and featured recently in The Sunday Times list of the best Irish albums of all time.
Irish Album of the Year, 2020 - Irish Mirror (Jupiter's Wife)
Irish Album of the Year, 2017 - Irish Sun (The Easter Vigil)...more