Lucia: A Suite for Guitar and Strings

By axisdirector
Thursday, 16th June 2022
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''People talk of my influence on my daughter, but what about her influence on me?' - James Joyce, 1934

Axis Ballymun is delighted to present the world premiere of ‘LUCIA’ - a suite for guitar and strings composed by multi-award nominated musician Joe Chester. This new composition will be brought to life by ‘The Sound of Bells’ a quartet featuring long-time collaborators Trevor Hutchinson, Vyvienne Long, Steve Wickham alongside Chester.

LUCIA Invite axis

Lucia Joyce spent 47 years in institutions as a result of mental illness, including long periods in isolation. She died in the notoriously cruel St. Andrew’s asylum, Northampton at the age of 75. And yet, in her youth she had shown enormous potential, as a dancer and illustrator. Over the course of two years, Chester took ten key moments from the life of Lucia Joyce, ten facts of her existence, and composed a piece of music for each, to pay tribute to her, to bear witness to her and, in some fantastical, imaginary way, let her speak.

The Paris Times wrote that, “James Joyce may yet be known as his daughter’s father." Some say she was a muse for Finnegans Wake. Her father described her as, “A fantastic being with a mind as clear and unsparing as the lightning.” However, after undergoing tests, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was committed in 1936. She would never know freedom again.

This performance promises to pay a unique and moving homage to Lucia Joyce through Chester’s compositions. Described by Hotpress Magazine as "A legitimate giant of Irish music", Chester's albums have been featured in ‘101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’, by Tony Clayton-Lea and ‘Buried Treasure’ by Dan Hegarty and in The Sunday Times list of the best Irish albums of all time. 

Composed by Joe Chester.

Performed by THE SOUND OF BELLS (Joe Chester, Trevor Hutchinson, Vyvienne Long, Steve Wickham).

Supported by the Arts Council

General release on Monday the 11th of April 2022. Booking or promo code issues contact box office on 018832120 or

Image courtesy of the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.


IMAGE INFO: A black and white poster featuring a photograph woman (Lucia Joyce) dancing. The text reads: Axis Ballymun Presents LUCIA. A Suite for Guitar and Strings. Inspired by the life of Lucia Joyce. Composed by Joe Chester. Performed by THE SOUND OF BELLS (Joe Chester, Trevor Hutchinson, Vyvienne Long, Steve Wickham). Thursday June 16th 2022, 8pm. Tickets €16/14. Booking & Info / 018832100.