Movement through Paradox Op 25

after ‘Journey Out of Essex’ by John Clare Op 25

‘The Persistent Reality of Illusion‘ Part IIa (The “John Clare” trilogy)

Instrumentation: Picc/2/2/Cor/2/Bass/2/Contra/4/3/3/1/Harp/ Perc(4)/Timp/Strings
Duration: 24 minutes
Date of Composition: 2011/12

Programme Note, further details of this work, and samples of pages of the music, are all available from the score.

Journey out of Essex

The music references Clare’s account of his walk home to his cottage from the Epping Forest asylum.


“July 18, 1841, Sunday. Felt very melancholy. Went for a walk in the forest in the afternoon.

July 20, Tuesday. Reconnoitred the road the gypsey had taken, and found it a legible one to make a movement; and having only honest courage and myself in my army, I led the way and my troops soon followed.”

“But when I was told it was my second wife, Patty, I got in, and was soon at Northborough. But Mary was not there; neither could I get any information about her further than the old story of her having died six years ago. But I took no notice of the lie, having seen her myself twelve months ago, alive and well, and as young as ever. So here I am homeless at home.” 

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