Nausicaa is the nineteenth part of the 24-hour composition ULYSSES.
ULYSSES is a 24 hours composition by Francesc D. Melis and Antoni Robert Gadea.
The project was conceived after the release of L’Esquellot ben Trempat (by Dr. Melis & Dr. Robert), now available at antonirobert.bandcamp.com/album/lesquellot-ben-trempat. In this previous release I composed a work using previously recorded sound material played by Francesc and by myself, combining pieces of sound according to a conceptual guideline. The big amount of sounds available made me think about how to use a relevant part of it, since the process of doing it was very pleasant. As a result of those thoughts and a reference seen by chance of one of my favourite books, James Joyce’s ULYSSES, the idea came soon after: a 24 hours work inspired by Leopold Bloom / Stephen Dedalus 24 hours Dublin wandering. The novel has 18 episodes and 12 locations, while I have broken down the sound in 24 parts (corresponding to the 24 hours). So the 24 parts do not correspond exactly to the episodes or locations, although they follow the novel timeline and path.
The division in parts is necessary because it is not practical to share a 24 hours wav file. It is too big. But as a concept the work is a continuous 24 hours sound flow. Each part begins with a long fade in and ends with a long fade out. Summing up all the durations you will find more than 24 hours. But the work is intended to run for exactly 24 hours. So, the correct way of listening to it is to overlap each fade out with the next part fade in, in a way that the final duration, once all the 24 parts are overlapped, is exactly 24 hours. In order to do that you will have to do the overlapping with a software in a hard disk and connect the hard disk to a player. There’s no other way to store such a big file. Each complete work will be slightly different, because the way of doing the overlapping will have small variations each time. But this is not a problem at all.
ULYSSES is a long soundscape. Some parts are dark ambient, some are noisy, some are electroacoustic or concrete. Most of the sound sources are by the authors, but some other sources have been used, and the musicians are credited when necessary.
The unicorn appears as a reminder that the original working title was “A day in the life of Ulysses, a lonely heart unicorn”.
The work will be released in 24 parts, one part a day along 24 days.
All the action of the episode takes place on the rocks of Sandymount Strand, the shoreline that Stephen visited in Episode 3. A young woman, Gerty MacDowell, is seated on the rocks with her two friends, Cissy Caffrey and Edy Boardman. The girls are taking care of three children, a baby, and four-year-old twins named Tommy and Jacky. Gerty contemplates love, marriage and femininity as night falls. The reader is gradually made aware that Bloom is watching her from a distance. Gerty teases the onlooker by exposing her legs and underwear, and Bloom, in turn, masturbates. Bloom’s masturbatory climax is echoed by the fireworks at the nearby bazaar. As Gerty leaves, Bloom realises that she has a lame leg, and believes this is the reason she has been “left on the shelf”. After several mental digressions he decides to visit Mina Purefoy at the maternity hospital. It is uncertain how much of the episode is Gerty’s thoughts, and how much is Bloom’s sexual fantasy. Some believe that the episode is divided into two halves: the first half the highly romanticized viewpoint of Gerty, and the other half that of the older and more realistic Bloom. Joyce himself said, however, that “nothing happened between [Gerty and Bloom]. It all took place in Bloom’s imagination”. Nausicaa attracted immense notoriety while the book was being published in serial form. It has also attracted great attention from scholars of disability in literature. The style of the first half of the episode borrows from (and parodies) romance magazines and novelettes.
Nausicaa is the Nineteenth part of the 24-hour composition ULYSSES.
Concept, composition & sounds by Francesc D. Melis & Antoni Robert.
Featuring Patricio Böttcher (loops from Daily Loops Project).
Artwork by Antoni Robert.
Sandymount Strand, Dublin. 2023.
Free download here: https://antonirobert.bandcamp.com/album/nausicaa-ulysses-part-19