This project stemmed out of a brief given to me during my Intermediate Typography class. The professor gave us a choice between three pieces of literature and I chose the poem ‘Sirens’ from chapter 11 of the book Ulysses. Using this piece of literature, we were to create a work of art (2 dimensional or 3 dimensional) through the use of typography that somehow captured the essence of the piece of text we had chosen.
The poem ‘Sirens’ is extremely haphazard in the manner that it has been written. It is, in a sense, the ‘prologue’ to chapter 11 of the Ulysses as each line of the poem is taken from random points throughout the chapter itself. This idea of a ‘prologue’ is what inspired my final piece. In order to visually represent the essence of the poem, I decided to literally compose a sheet of music with the words of the poem acting as musical notes in themselves.
The final product is an accordion style book with the first 4 layers printed on transparent sheets so as to create a certain depth. Each layer of the book holds one aspect of the design. The first sheet holds the interrupted narrative, the second holds the main narrative, the third holds the musical symbols, the fourth holds the ‘bars’ or the line breaks while the fifth and final opaque piece of paper holds the musical sheet itself. While each layer seems haphazard on its own, when it all comes together, it begins to reveal a story.
Listening to a recitation of the poem, I used typography (various fonts, weights, sizes, etc.) to highlight the manner in which the poem was being recited. I also added the appropriate music symbols as and when necessary to create not only a cohesive piece of design, but also a beautiful work of art in itself.