Light for the First Time is dedicated to my daughter. It imagines the experience of opening one's eyes for the first time, which occurs at around 28 weeks’ gestation. The unfolding of the piece reflects a desire to be able to relive that moment endlessly, in slow motion, as if bathed in the brand-new memory of light. The sound of breath alone gradually expands into a universe of vibrant sound and colour, and the core ensemble of musicians is augmented by echoes of themselves, ghosts of prior performances and imagined futures.

Purchase recording

Film by Sam James: the idea for this film was to respond with reflections of abstracted light to build a precognitive, experiential sequence of light objects which could perhaps be the subconscious perception of an unborn child. The further I went into this process, the more I strived to create phenomenological states of feeling that did not define the outside world, which was quite difficult. This is an attempt to create pre-figurative imagery without any conception of the infinite phonemen of the material world. It is like being in a bubble of pure perception without reflexivity. To see, but without a concept of matter, the sight of a being which is yet to be born.

Performed by Ensemble Offspring:

Claire Edwardes - Artistic Director, Vibraphone

Lamorna Nightingale - Flute

Jason Noble - Clarinet

Veronique Serret - Violin

Bernadette Harvey - Piano

Recorded by Bob Scott

Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring with the generous support of Kim Williams AM