Joyce’s Vision Robert MacKay

This piece was composed for the First Otto Joachim Project Studio Residency Competition, Concordia, Montreal.

It is based on the text from the opening of chapter 11 of James Joyce’s Ulysses. I find the chosen text to have a particularly musical quality, which comes as no surprise as Joyce intended it to act as an overture to chapter 11, which is inspired by, and a tribute to, the art of music.

The entire material for the piece has been created solely from recordings of readings from the text. I have tried to create a musical structure, as well as providing word-painting for the text and exploiting the text’s innate musical quality. In order to respect the text, I felt it important to maintain coherence of the spoken word throughout the piece as well as using it to create supporting textures and gestures. The piece’s title reflects the way I have interpreted the text, which to me evokes a vision-like quality.

  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Duration of the submitted work: 4:06

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