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Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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Location: Portland, OR

Goldenhair: Brian Byrne & James Joyce - out June 16th
Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:54 pm
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Goldenhair, a new recording by Golden Globe-nominated and IFTA award-winning composer Brian Byrne, will be released on Bloomsday, June 16, 2017 on Node Records.

Byrne has written new songs arranged in a variety of musical styles for 21 selected poems from James Joyce's 1907 collection, Chamber Music.

These poems have a natural musicality to them, a lyricism that could only come from a writer (James Joyce) who was hearing melody. — Brian Byrne

On Goldenhair, Kurt performs the title track and three other tunes.

Kurt sang "Where Love Is" (in Chamber Music titled "Dear heart, why will you use me so?") in guitarist John McLean's beautiful arrangement of Byrne's tune on Passion World, his 2015 recording,

Listen to Kurt Elling's "Where Love Is" from Passion World

On Goldenhair, Prince's singer/songwriter protégé Judith Hill performs it.

Watch "Where Love Is" featuring Grammy winner Judith Hill

Kurt is one of Brian Byrne's heroes, and he says that Kurt inspired the song "Goldenhair."

When asked in an interview what he thought one of Ireland's greatest literary heroes would make of his musical interpretations, Byrne said:


"I think he'd love Kurt Elling, because Joyce himself was a tenor who famously threw his bronze medal from the Feis Ceoil into the Liffey after losing. I don't know. I'd hope he'd like it, but maybe he'll turn in his grave when he hears one or two of them."

James Joyce, in a letter to his brother Stanislaus, discussing his yet to be published collection of poems, Chamber Music, wrote:


It is a young man's book. I felt like that. It is not a book of love-verses at all, I perceive. But some of them are pretty enough to be put to music. I hope someone will do so, someone that knows old English music such as I like. Besides they are not pretentious and have a certain grace.

Ranging in style from adult contemporary to jazz, bluegrass, opera, spoken word and more, Goldenhair features world-renowned artists, including Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, Golden Globe-winning actress Glenn Close, Prince's singer/songwriter protégé Judith Hill, British musician/songwriter Julian Lennon, Irish singer and composer Gavin Friday and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Watch Kurt Elling perform and speak about James Joyce & Goldenhair

The digital version has 21 tracks - including 4 Bonus Tracks not available on the CD.

One of those Bonus Tracks is "Bid Adieu," performed by Cara O'Sullivan and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. James Joyce wrote this song himself. It's his only known composition.

The full track list is here.

Goldenhair is available for pre-order now on Amazon and iTunes as digital downloads.

The CD will also be available at Amazon close to the June 16 release date, as well as at Musicroom (UK) and Eason's in Ireland.

For many, these words (from James Joyce) resonate at different levels and depths… But I feel like they speak to 'The Self' within us all… The fire that sometimes overwhelms us all, and the need to breathe and be in the now. — Julian Lennon

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