St Patrick’s Festival presents

James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach with Special Guest Vocalist Lisa Hannigan

How does one start a tribute to the greatest wordsmith this island has ever known? The answer is obvious; stay true to the words.

St Patrick’s Festival 2020 presents a world premiere of poetry, music and song featuring the poetry of James Joyce interpreted by Matthew Nolan and Adrian Crowley in collaboration with Lisa Hannigan.

James Joyce’s second and last book of poetry, Pomes Penyeach, was published in 1927. A collection of 12 poems and a tilly – making it a baker’s dozen – the book sold for one shilling (12 pennies) or 12 francs, so the poems were a penny each. Pomes is also a pun on pommes (the French for apple) as Joyce wanted the cover of the book to be the colour of his favourite apple, the Calville.

Most of the poems date from between 1912 and 1924 apart from ‘Tilly’, a re-working of his poem ‘Cabra’ which was written around the time of his mother’s death in 1903 when the family were living in Cabra. Many of the poems can be traced to specific biographical moments in Joyce’s life.

The project is spearheaded by Dublin based composer, curator and academic Matthew Nolan, who discovered Joyce’s book thirty years ago and has been ‘trying to find a means of expressing that world ever since’. He enlisted the help of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer Adrian Crowley to decipher this elegiac collection and an ‘astonishing musical world began to unfurl’.

According to Nolan, whose work has been commissioned by many prestigious events and organisations including The Lincoln Centre in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC,

‘this project is the result of a uniquely Joycean affinity between language and music, and who better to front it than the understated, graceful yet swooning voice of Lisa Hannigan’.

Join some of Ireland’s finest contemporary musicians on a journey to comprehend love and life from the map left by Joyce’s pen. Featuring: Lisa Hannigan (vocals), Matthew Nolan (guitar), Adrian Crowley (piano & mellotron), Sean Mac Erlaine (reeds & electronics), Cora Venus Lunny (violin & viola) and Cheyenne Mize (violin).

Proudly supported by Dublin Airport.


Show starts at 8pm sharp