six solo voices: SSATBarB
Commissioned by the Song Company with financial assistance from the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council
First performance by the Song Company conducted by Roland Peelman, Hope theatre, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 16 March 1992
[The Laughter of Mermaids has a] diverse set of musical gestures, pitching in at many different rhetorical levels-party babble, poetic speech, conversation, laughter and varying degrees of musical delivery. Although the composer, in his program note, mentioned a quotation from Purcell's masterpiece 'When I am laid in earth' as a unifying element, for me unity was achieved through a rather satisfying sense of understatement (sometimes violated) and an elliptical sense of progression. Capitalising on his imaginative feel for language and gesture, it seemed to me one of Ford's most successful works to date.
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald