Laurence Osborn

  • Duration

    12 mins

  • Year of composition


  • Number of performers


  • First performance

    Mainly Two, The Guildhall School of Music

  • Commissioned by
    Written for Mainly Two


“It’s not just what we inherit from our mothers and fathers that haunts us. It’s all kinds of old defunct theories, all sorts of old defunct beliefs, and things like that. It’s not that they actually live on in us; they are simply lodged there, and we cannot get rid of them. I’ve only to pick up a newspaper and I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. Over the whole country there must be ghosts, as numerous as the sands of the sea. And here we are, all of us, abysmally afraid of the light.”

The inspiration for Ghosts came from my reading Ibsen’s play of the same name. The play is full of anxiety about the past: its characters’ trajectories are determined by residual feelings that have maintained themselves through generations. The ‘ghosts’ in Ibsen’s play affect relations of all kinds, from the familial to the political. My piece attempts to communicate some of this anxiety.

Full Scoring:

Two Violins

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