thursday jan 17th continued

finally managed to get to the Frye Art Museum.  great art works on display alonside the last (days) of the Mw (Moment Magnitude) exhibition of Seattle-based artists.

There’re beginning a new exhibition called ‘chamber music’ where members of the Frye Museum staff select pieces of artworks in the Frye Art collection after reading specific passages in a given text.  The text is none other than James Joyces 36 chapters of poems “Chamber Music”, can be found here –

some parts are very very nice, and i quite like the descriptive quality of Joyce’s work that somewhat invigorates the paintings. i guess you’d do it already anyway – create descriptions in your head, but this helps shape the emotion in your mind somewhat, and give the paintings a kinda gel that has them segue into one another.


Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
The willows meet.

There’s music along the river
For Love wanders there,
Pale flowers on his mantle,
Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,
With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
Upon an instrument.


Waterfall, 1896
Hortense Trotter

i guess the work of great art now would be James Joyce’s ‘Chamber Music’

it’s wikipedia entry is really interesting, from the naming of the book – (chamberpot music i.e. the sound of urine hitting the chamber pot rather than an actual chamber ensemble)  to how Joyce intended for this to be used in music.  Artists who have made musical adaptations of this include Sonic Youth and Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd – perhaps most interesting is the curated collection of music by James Nicholls in 2008 featuring musicians from established bands like Sonic Youth, Mercury Rev and REM.

p.s. Mercury Rev opened for Coldplay in Perth 2009.  I will never forget that concert thank you Lynette 😉

now to read Joyce’s chamber music.

and maybe make my own.. drip drip drip.



Bright cap and streamers,
He sings in the hollow:
Come follow, come follow,
All you that love.
Leave dreams to the dreamers
That will not after,
That song and laughter
Do nothing move.

With ribbons streaming
He sings the bolder;
In troop at his shoulder
The wild bees hum.
And the time of dreaming
Dreams is over — –
As lover to lover,
Sweetheart, I come.

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