Ford has composed in several idioms, his work reflecting a variety of influences. His early pieces employ a Webernian 12-tone technique which evolved into a more refined and delicate (though at times dramatic) polyphonic approach. His music later turned towards neo-romanticism. Among his instrumental works are five string quartets (1965-70); two woodwind quintets (1968, 1975); several chamber works, including Atman-Source (1969) for clarinet, viola and piano, Thorybopoioumenoi (1972) for soprano, flute, viola and electronic tape, and Metamorphoses (1977) for piano trio; and solo pieces for guitar (1971), saxophone (1971), piano (1972), and organ (1972-3). His Suite for Orchestra (1973) was premiered in 1974 by the TS. His choral works include Cantata (1972), Mass (1976, a commission from the Festival Singers, premiered by them in 1977 in Toronto and performed that same year at Musicanada), Day of Wrath (1978, commissioned by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir), Songs of the Sea (1979), Hauntings (1982), The Rose (1988), and Three Jimmies (1990). The opera Hypnos (1972) was a commission from the Young Canada Opera Theatre. Valley of the Moon (NFB 1972) is one of several film scores. Through a long association with organist Willis Noble, Ford has written works for organ, both solo and with other instruments, including Variations on Acadia (1985) for organ and string quartet, and Forbidden Colours (1983) for organ and oboe d'amore. He has also written a number of vocal works, including Halifax, 6 December, 1917 (1979) and Three Medieval English Lyrics (1987). Metamorphoses has been recorded by the Dalart Trio (1981, RCI 551) and Mass has been recorded by the Elmer Iseler Singers (1981, Centrediscs CMC-0281/RCI 564). A Little Fantasy on J.P. Clarke's Ballad 'Summer and Winter' for piano is published in Musical Canada.
Ford is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.
Canada's Music: An Historical Survey (Toronto 1982)
Author Florence Hayes, Gary J. Hayes
Schulman, Michael. 'A change of scene helps a composer,' CanComp, 143, Sep 1979
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