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Gerry Smyth and Matthew Campbell take you on a short trip through the history of Irish music, guided by that most musical of authors, James Joyce. Starting at Finnegans Wake, we move backwards through the canon, with examples from each of the major works, and finishing with selections from a new version of Joyce’s little known poetry book of 1907, Chamber Music. If you can’t be in Dublin today, this is the perfect way to experience Bloomsday.
Dr Gerry Smyth is an academic, musician and actor, originally from Dublin and now resident in Liverpool. He has published widely on many aspects of modern Irish cultural history, and has performed in musical concerts and plays at venues throughout Europe.
Matthew Campbell is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of York. Most of his work is on British and Irish poetry of the last two centuries. He is particularly interested in the history of the sounds of poems, or even the sounds of poems in history. This was initially explored through the close reading of various notions of action and intent as heard in the rhythms of Victorian and early twentieth-century poetry, from Tennyson to Hardy. But more recently this was developed into research on the invention of the distinctive music, prosody and language of Irish poetry in English written within and against the vexed politics of Irish and British literary history from 1801 to 1921 and beyond. He has also published regularly on contemporary Irish poetry, as well as on Romantic poetry, Celticism, elegy, and war writing.