Remains of Elmet


Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet, ‘A Pennine Sequence’ (1979), is a poetry collection inspired by photographs by Fay Godwin of the West Yorkshire landscape of his childhood.

Together, the poems and photographs address themes of decay and regeneration: social, physical, and psychological. Setting five poems from the collection, this work gives a theatrical twist to the traditional concerto form. Unconducted, a resonance chamber of wordless voices and a staged block of instrumentalists challenge the dual nature of the mercurial soloist: a viola-vocalist who traces a fragile path through the work’s cyclical development.