This is a reading of the sirens episode, number 11, in James Joyce's Ulysses.  There are three layers to the piece. Foremost is the text itself. The second one is a through-composed piece entitled "Butes." 

The mythological character that most ardently gave into the song of the sirens serves as a kind of background soundscape. 

The third layer is the free improvisation on guitar, which is heard in its entirety twice, as a loop, but also one time through, altered, as a stretched slower companion piece. The human voice has been altered purposefully in order to make it faster and more artificial.

-- Jaime Rodriguez Matos
Max Froumentin is a French artist and software engineer who created joyce-textorized, a fantastic image based on a photo of James Joyce that appears on the International James Joyce Foundation website, as well as here on 

Froumentin created the Textorizer software that was used to generate the image on the right. Click here to try it out! 
joyce-textorized by Max Froumentin. This image
is being used with permission from the artist. 
Ulysses & You -- Q's & A's: 

We're gathering for audio responses: 

1. What made you first decide to read Ulysses? (Did you start reading it on your own, while you were taking a class, in a book club, etc.)

2. What's one thing that you remember about reading Ulysses for the first time?

3. If you're reading Ulysses for the first time, what's one impression you're having of this experience? 

4. If you're rereading Ulysses, how is this time around different for you than the first time you read the novel? 
5. What's your favorite chapter in Ulysses

6. What's your favorite sentence in Ulysses

7. Who's your favorite character in Ulysses

We'd like to hear from you... Please choose one of those aforementioned questions, and record yourself responding to one of those questions. Then email, with Bloomsday 2012 Q&A in the subject line, and we'll coordinate a way for you to send your audio response to us. 

More audio responses will be made available here soon. Stay tuned for updates! 

Softday is developing "The Limerick Oddity," a sort of Joycean project. Softday will recreate sonically parts of Bloom's epic journey in Limerick on Bloomsday, translocating the psycho-geography of Joyce's Dublin to the reality of Softday's Limerick of 2012. Softday will document both sonically and visually the soundscapes of Limerick while paying homage to the mapping of sites and sounds of Joyce's Dublin. 

Stay tuned for updates with "The Limerick Oddity." 

above: image from Softday's
Amhran na Beacha (Song of the Bees)
O OLHO BOM, 2012 by Helga Corrêa. Collage and graphic effects. 15 X 13 cm. Corrêa is a visual artist and engraver who lives in Santa Maria, Brazil. 
Exit Bloom. "I'm just running round to Collis and
Ward's and then complete oblivion because
it wasn't broken already."
Kitty: warm. He crossed to the host, "My word," he
said. "A fair amount of money advanced on note
of banishment, banishment from home.  I am

not a red bank oysters.  So I would, where he called
me 'sir.' Look for some clues. Hot and heavy in
the world. Fried everything. Here's this
afternoon. Find damn all else they are masked, with
head covered," sighing. "In here tonight. Glowing wine
on his high horse about the mistake in the

habit of mind in the apocalypse. But I
always looks back on the sly. Take one of his
nibs till the first nail in his eyes
found the Lord has spoken to, touching the much
respected clerk of the bunch though you wouldn't do
anything at all," a silent roar. "What is

home without potted meat?" Dilly followed quickly
and got off lightly with illnesses compared.
A few times in the garden? Out
of it. To which professional status his
rescue of fallen women off the greater bulk
of the screw? Two pieces of jungle meat. Out

of sight, eased himself closer at hand, no doubt, but
lightly! "Know what death is the cause of many
abuses though not in hell. Out
on the bed. Judge Barton, I suppose? Why did
he come? Fifteen children he has anyway. Out
here one foggy evening to look. I mean when

we lived in London somewhere." Safe in a teacup
tea, choking in action. Fields of liver of
sulphur. No families themselves
to overhear. Under a grey sweet mother?
Buck Mulligan bent down to her other things, too
sweet to be ducked in the middle of town.

James Joyce, Ulysses as statistically analysed by
Gnoetry0.2; end-user Eric Elshtain found arguments for quotation mark insertions.

I. Je suis une femme de lettres et je gagne ma vie.

All ways a feather: bed your bugs as they bud
Welling roses these sweltering days
Rose roaches blooming by books, near pillows
Blooming by Bloomsday, busting out by June
Busting on Broadway, busting the busts…
            Hey, this is…my bra!
            (Like swallowing feathers, you know,
            dirty feathers.)
            And this is December and over there, Christmas
            We call April Easter cause she makes them march.

Welling roses in Wellington Rolls
Rose roaches blooming by books, near pillows
Rolls with butter, rolls with jam
Roll her over, let’s go hot damn!
Sweltering days as rose roaches bloom
Swilling slaves in rose roaches’ room

Bloom, concrete blossoms!
Bloom, Broadway bottoms!
Bloom! Picks his nose
Bloom! As he grows. . . .

Bed your bugs as they bud, as they breed─what a breed!
Ill-bred, no bread
Dirty cunt’s puking
Just giving me head. . . .

All ways are fettered
Fellated and fucked
For ever and all
But mostly for us

II. Foret sans oiseaux

All ways are feathered.
For rest a bed, 
For the rest, a bed . . . .
Hey, this is. . . .I know; I’ve had them for years.
I’ve had it. Have you? Been had?
Have you a forest? Have you a bed?
Have you a haven?
(Forests of feathers: naked birds shrieking
Bony birds swooping
Burning birds screaming
Descending like hell)

Blooming rose roaches all buds destroyed
Bony birds bleeding, beating, breaking, bled. . .
For rest, a bed, for rest. . .
Fine-feathered slaughter by books, near pillows
Rose roaches breed,
Bleed swiftly and die.

III. On commence par tre dupe, on finit par tre fripon.
                                                                       George Sand

Always the feathers: hi, I’m Molly Bloom;
Blow by my bathroom . . . .
By the window a frozen bird, frozen for weeks,
A weak bird, a dead duck, a gone goose,
A pigeon petered out. . . .

But I’m Molly Bloom, you’ve had me, you know:
Birds are just chirping snakes. 
But I’m Molly Bloom, I’m a mammal,
I have mammaries, see: This is a bust!
I don’t touch dead birds.

This is December, and over there’s Christmas
And Easter will rise to any occasion
For ever and all
For Peter and Paul. . . .
But I’m Molly Bloom, I’m a pagan, you fuck!
(A man? Where?)

A feather bed for me, a haven for rest,
Pillows for the head, and books for the rest
I need the rest: this is short, where’s the rest?

All ways are fetid
Fellated and fucked
No bird’s no damn good
Until it’s been plucked.
A man? Amen. This is Easter:
Rest that piece.

"Bloom" -- Larissa Shmailo (voice) & Bobby Perfect (composition, guitar, drums)
From Shmailo's CD Exorcism

for JJ on bloomsday 2012


Forgive me, your honor, but anyone who has ever been lovesick and that means anyone who has ever
been sick of love and that means anyone who has ever been in love and that means anyone who has ever
been knows emesis is no nemesis of things aphrodisiac or vice versa and that might mean anything and
some things among anything that could be are bound to be emetic for some people some times though
that has nothing on the face of it to do with obscenity which is neither here nor there now. (And, as far
as Aphrodite is concerned, if not now, when?) On the other hand, imagine if you will some unscrupulous
person making profit for himself alone out of the work of another which does, though it is hard to imagine
a court saying so in the belly of a beast a beast itself both so in love with doing so. In this day and age,
absurd is everybody’s middle name, go go go or no the grey sweet mother of all sunshine merrying over
the sea the great sweet mother of all.

What city sent what city scent? Is there any other city any other for him to be other for this day? Now,
do you understand? Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more thought through my eyes
which if you should say so yourself strictly speaking you should say are yours meaning I am otherwise to
your I your eye, open and shut. Listen and see what you see what you see with the ineluctable modality of
the aural. See if you smell a rat or some other rotten in Denmark thing with some ineluctable modality or
other. Mark what I say if you see what I’m saying. Do you now know what I mean?

About her windraw face her hair trailed wind raw win draw win. The crooked skirt swinging whack by
whack by whack. Her full hips. Her full lips, drinking, smiled and smiled again: the overtone following
through the air, third. Curious, longing, curious longing, I. Water to water dust to dust ashes to ashes
inked characters fast fading forsaken on frayed paper drowning in grief drowning their grief. I thirst.

That’s the first sign.

When the hairs come out grey temper getting cross. Silver threads among the grey. Fancy being his wife
gone now. Strange, he never saw his real country. Strange he never saw. Getououthat, you bloody old
pedagogue! We were always loyal to lost causes, the professor, that stony effigy in frozen music, horned
and terrible, of the human form divine, said. He ceased and looked at them, enjoying silence. Finished.
That is how poets write right rite. Similar sounds. Meaning be damned. Until you are over your head in
it where there was a canyon cut in rock by water flowing like words like thought, a lake, still, the city
submerged. La causa è santa! Pint of stout. Each dish harmless might mix inside. Say something. Better
not do the heart softly quopping condescending. Necessity it goes without saying is that in virtue of which
it is impossible that one can be otherwise. Certainly, certainly, certainly. (Piano, diminuendo.) That lies in
space which I in time must come to, ineluctably. Invece, lei si sacrifica. Into the hand of some god.


Child born every minute somewhere. Agenbite of inwit. Agen bitte in wit. Inwit’s agenbite. In white
please recite. And the salute of Almidano Artifono’s sturdy trousers swallowed by a closing door. Smack.
Smack. She let free sudden in rebound her nipped elastic garter smackwarm against her smackable
woman’s warmhosed thigh. Words? Music? No. No: it’s what’s behind. Yes, yes, will tell you. Want to.
To keep it up. With a cock with a carra. Circumcised! says Joe. Something dawns on him, and he can’t
stop crowing.


The nec and non plus ultra of emotion were reached when the blushing bride elect burst her way through
the serried ranks of the bystanders and flung herself upon the muscular bosom of him who was about to
be launched into eternity for her sake slowly and indistinctly in a tone suggestive of suppressed rancor.
Those are nice things, says the citizen, coming over here to Ireland filling the country with bugs. The
French! says the citizen. Set of dancing masters! I, says Joe. I’m the alligator. Mendelssohn was a jew
and Karl Marx and Mercandante and Spinoza. and the saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your
god, by god. For such a one she yearns this balmy summer eve, and he had eyes in his head to see the
difference for himself.

The fabric that caresses the skin, better than those other pettiwidth, the green, four and eleven, on account
of being white and o by the by that lotion. And whiles they spake the door of the castle was opened and
there nighed them a mickle noise as of many that sat there at meat as it is meet and right to do so to do
with what is meted out to you. Many a mickle meted, they say, going the other way, maks a muckle.
Sitting snug with a covey of wags, like brangling fellows I could produce a muckle cloud of witnesses
to the excellence of her noble exercitations -- a mickle if you will, the sanitary conditions in which our
greylunged citizens contract adenoids, pulmonary complaints etc. by inhaling the bacteria which lurk in
dust, to say nothing of this virus we swim in, language.

Wait, my love, and I’ll be with you. Salvi facti i sunt. I was just going back for that lotion whitewax,
orangeflower water, a penny in the pound. O cold! O shivery! It was your ambrosial beauty. forget
forgive kismet. Let me off get me off this once. A man’s touch. Sad music. Church music. Perhaps here.

(A sunburst appears in the northwest.)

Stage Irishman! Pflaap! No yapping, if you please. Wheatenmeal with lycopodium and syllabax.
Locomotor ataxy. Disorder. Moving. Weigh the way you cannot say. Details details. Move. The devil is
in that door. Let me on him now. You had enough. I asked before you.

As a paying guest or a kept man?

I was precocious. Sacrilege! To attempt my virtue! Ah, ma, you’re dragging me along! A Ma dance the
mirror sea, see the mirror dance. Dance! Dance!

(He is pelted with gravel, cabbagestumps, biscuitboxes, eggs, potatoes, dead codfish, woman’s slipperslappers.)

The red’s as good as the green, and better. I suppose so. Poetry, well educated. Pity. Well educated pity.
Pathemata mathemata. Pity poetry. Although unusual in the Dublin area, he knew that it was not by any
means unknown for desperadoes who had next to nothing to live on to be about waylaying and generally
terrorising peaceable pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the city
proper. But never a poem to the head. Out of the head, perhaps, a poem by any means. And what might
your name be?

On this knotty point the views of the pair, poles apart as they were, both in schooling and everything else,
with the marked difference in their respective ages, clashed. He turned a long you are wrong gaze on
Stephen of timorous dark pride at the soft impeachment, with a glance also of entreaty for he seemed to
glean in a kind of way that it wasn’t all exactly... Though palpably a radically altered man, he was still a
commanding figure, though carelessly garbed as usual.

Our lives are in peril tonight. beware of the steamroller, the incompatibility of aquacity with the erratic
originality of genius.


Had Bloom and Stephen been baptised, and where and by whom, cleric or layman?

Did the elevated host encourage his guest to chant in a modulated voice a strange legend on an alien

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tz'vaot Melo Kol Haaretz Kevodo.

Why did he not elaborate these calculations to a more precise result?

What homothetic objects, other than the candlestick, stood on the mantelpiece?

What affine spaces centered there to be transformed?

In what ultimate ambition had all concurrent and consecutive ambitions now coalesced? What were habitually his final meditations?

Will he come again?

What would render such return irrational?

What impersonal objects were perceived?

The visible signs of postsatisfaction?


He was shaking like a jelly all over they want to do everything too quick take all the pleasure out of it as
if any fool wouldn’t know what that meant it never entered my head what kissing meant till he put his
tongue in my mouth as if any fool wouldn’t know what that meant I dont want to ruin the clean sheets
the clean linen I wore brought it on too damn it damn it and they always want to see a stain on the bed
to know your a virgin for them all thats troubling them theyre such fools I suppose hes a man now by
this time he was an innocent boy then Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven
theres nothing like nature. yes, nothing like
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