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„Eine gewaltige Allegorie - Untergang und Auferstehung der Menschheit“ (Joseph Campbell). Nach kurzen Harfeneinleitungen liest Patrick Ball Auszüge aus dem wohl vielschichtigsten und geheimnisvollsten literarischen Werk des 20. Jahrhunderts. „The Wake“ ist zugleich eine musikalische Komposition. Man muss die Worte klingen hören. Ball macht das hervorragend. Im Begleitheft Aufsätze von Joseph Campbell, Henry Morton Robinson und Prof. John Bishop.

the project

Following Ball's award winning spoken word debut Storyteller (13100), comes a rare reading of the great manuscript Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Published in 1939, Joyce received grave criticism for the Wake which he labored one–third of his life on, largely because the work was before its time, impenetrable by most, if not all readers. With Joyce's sudden death six months later, it has become a masterpiece of sorts for the world to decipher.

Penetrable or not, Finnegans Wake clearly speaks to the very heart of the Irish and perhaps to the very soul of man. Riddled in the Irish folkloric tradition of wordplay, Finnegans Wake reflects Joyce's Irish love of words and tremendously keen ear for the power and music they acquire when spoken. Says Ball, "I found that when the Wake is read aloud, various layers of meaning emerge from the sound of the words: indeed, some startling revelations emerge when the rhythms, the puns and the dialects are spoken."

The first section, riverrun, is indispensible: the first notes of the great allegorical symphony that is to follow. The following tracks introduce the characters who represent the various aspects of the family of man. Anna Livia Plurabelle completes this great cycle and happens to be one of the most sublimely beautiful passages in modern literature. As Ball eloquently summarizes, "Hard to understand, and still mostly obscure to me, but the sound of the words and the phrasings are lovely. And the theme is timeless: the river flowing back to the sea, where it will eventually rise into the sky and fall again as rain on the Wicklow Hills where the river has its source. That image is Joyce's basic theme, I suppose. As Jospeh Campbell put it, 'James Joyce presents, envelops, amplifies and recondenses nothing more nor less than the eternal dynamic implicit in birth, conflict, death, and resurrection. '"

With Ball's understanding and love for the Irish wordplay combined with his expertise in traditional Irish music he seamlessly blends the Celtic harp with each piece emphasizing the music of the words.

the artist

Patrick Ball, born and raised in California, anticipated he would become a lawyer like his father. But he always had a fledgling interest in music, playing piano and guitar. During his academic studies Ball became irresistably drawn to words—to the music of words, to writers who made words sing, to writers from Ireland. It was also the lyrical, turbulent history of Ireland that engaged him. With the death of his father all thoughts of lawschool died too. And Ball made his way to Ireland where he fell in love with the eloquence and fire of the Irish oral tradition. And there he came to know that marvelous unity of Irish words, music and history that would become his passion and, eventually, his livelihood.

Today, Patrick Ball is the unrivalled leader in North America in bringing the ancient Celtic harp to new life. Working with Maine's leading harp builder, Jay Witcher, Ball has brought the music of a bygone era to an enthusiastic modern audience.

Following in the Irish tradition, Ball is not only a harpist, but also a gifted storyteller. He has recorded tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany, Belgium, England, and even contemporary works written in traditional style for the Celtic harp. This is his eighth recording on the Celestial Harmonies/Fortuna Records labels.




  Disk 1:  
1 riverrun 23'36"
2 good Mr. Finnimore 16'11"
3 Shem 16'08"
4 O tell me all 15'12"
  Total Time: 71'32"
  Disk 2:  
1 Well, you know 10'43"
2 Three quarks 9'37"
3 Jaunty Jaun 27'35"
4 Anna Livia Plurabelle 31'46"
  Total Time: 79'55"