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for chamber ensemble

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  14m
Instrumentation:  flute/piccolo, oboe, B flat clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, bass trombone, 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos, double bass

Year:  2006
Duration:  14m
Instrumentation  flute/piccolo, oboe, B flat...

Composer:   Helen Bowater

Films, Audio & Samples

Helen Bowater: Lumen - AUDIO

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Lumen was written in response to the plight of Ahmed Zaoui — an Algerian refugee who sought asylum in New Zealand in late 2002. He spent 10 months in Paremoremu prison in solitary confinement describing entering the prison as “entering some kind of forgotten forest”. His 24 contemplations published as Migrant Birds (Craig Potton, 2005) were written during his two years in prison — an incarceration seen as a profound injustice by many.

Lumen was triggered Zaoui's poem XIX The Culture of Hope.

“I imagine that I live in a black room
And the darkness has spread.
A pinprick of light captures my attention
And I contemplate the light
And live for it.
If I continuously contemplate the dark I will die.
Through this light I declare my resistance and my triumph…"

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Stroma with financial assistance from Creative New Zealand

Performance history

20 Jul 2006: Premiered by Stroma conducted by Hamish McKeich at 'Lumen' concert in the Ilott Concert Chamber Wellington