Paths Where the Mourners Tread

for ensemble

Erika Fox

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for ensemble

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Composer Erika Fox
Year of Composition 1980
Duration ca.20'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ef1pwmt1


Commissioned by Lontano. Conducted by Odaline de la Martinez at the Purcell Room.

“This work is dedicated to the New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead, who was living with us at the time and whose quiet commitment to her music I found inspiring and to the memory of my father, with whom she enjoyed an affectionate friendship. It was inspired by one of the poems in Philip Larkin’s collection ‘The North Ship’ from which its title is taken (with thanks to the author for his kind permission). 

Each instrument takes the part of ‘Reciter’ sometimes singly, sometimes in pairs or even trios. Thus there is often more than one melodic strain present at a given time. These are punctuated and unified by various repetitive devices such as simple percussive rhythms, ostinati and humming, giving the piece a ritualistic quality. There are three ‘movements’, or, more accurately, three sections of one movement, the first being by far the longest. The second and third sections follow after a short pause, in each case with a continuation of and variation on the material last heard.”