“FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I WILL REFLECT ON WHAT LIGHT IS.” Albert Einstein (Could the answer be in the rainbow?)
Rainbow of Light – The Journey
I had not heard this quote from Albert Einstein until some time into the International Year Of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), when someone who listened to Katerina Mina singing my song Rainbow Of Light on youtube, left the words in a message in support of the piece.
This immediately resonated with me and took my breath away as this was my very thought as I set off on my journey to try and discover more about light.
This was initially because of something I had experienced – watching a bright light emit from someones eyes at a poignant time, that myself, family, friends, physicians and scientists could not explain.
A few years later, I met Dr Brian May, (also known as the guitarist in the rock band Queen) when I wrote a song for his Woodland project in Bere Regis, Dorset, UK. I was given the opportunity to visit the International Science and Arts Festival STARMUS in Tenerife, which the astrophysicist jointly organised.
I am not a scientist, but with speakers such as Professor Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, organiser and award winning astrophysicist Garik Israelian, Nobel prize winner Robert Wilson and many other eminent scientists, paleoanthropologists, astronauts and a 3D In Space talk from Dr May, it was a conference not to miss; Especially as we were treated to live music concerts and some serious star gazing from the top of Mount Teide during the down time.
Science Changed my Life
That week awakened my mind and changed my life forever. I listened awestruck as one by one the speakers took the stand and touched on the things I had been longing to know more about since I was a child; I soaked up every word, every gesture, every theory, every idea. I was hungry for information…over breakfast, lunch. dinner, I savoured every conversation, every new friendship. This was one huge catch up of a lifetime of questions…Why, oh why did I not study science?
By the penultimate day I realised that I had to find a way to ‘can’ my feelings. I wanted to share with other non scientists the magnitude of the event and how it affected me, the questions it posed, the mystery it created. But I knew I had to do it in a simple way. So I did it in the best way I know -in lyrical form:-
Feel the earths plight/ Watch the dark night/ View the bright stars/ And know who you are/ The sky’s a mystery/ But its all there to see/ Things we do not know/ Is the answer in the rainbow?
You can find the rest of the lyrics here.
I did not find the answer to my personal quest, not even from biologist Richard Dawkins. Of course I realised that there are very few answers, just theories. Even so, these were hugely fascinating and exciting, which had now set me off on a new path of discovery. There was no going back!
Whilst at STARMUS, I met the very talented International soprano Katerina Mina, who sang at the closing ceremony with Greek composer Alexandros Hahalas and Rick Wakeman. Katerina is London based, and as I am also based in the UK, we met up within a month after the conference, by which time I had written the music for the words.
When Katerina heard my home made recording with my acoustic guitar and vocal through my iPhone, she loved the song immediately. I felt humbled that such a respected International performer would want to record it. That moment set us off on a whirlwind year of recording, promoting and performing Rainbow Of Light whilst supporting the IYL 2015.
It was purely by chance that I stumbled upon the International Year Of Light as I was surfing the internet. I had a eureka moment when I realised I had written a piece that fitted the IYL 2015 theme perfectly.
As I read about the aims of the IYL 2015 project, I realised that this could be the next step in my journey to reflect on what light is. Here was an organisation that was taking the theme of light into mainstream society, breaking the mould of humdrum science and breathing new life, learning and inspiration into the next generation…giving young inquisitive minds a platform to grow. Minds that could perhaps find the answers to the questions humankind are still asking:- Where are we from and where are we going?
At the same time scientific organisations were getting together to celebrate notable anniversaries of scientists I had never heard of, but was delighted to read about. I was made aware of all the different ways in which we use light in our everyday life and of all the diverse companies that work with lasers to make a difference in health.
So I emailed my musical work, (which now featured Katerina’s beautiful voice) to the IYL 2015 Steering Committee to ask them if they would like to consider including the recording for their year long celebrations. I felt that Katerina and I were helping to address a universal feeling (with the song) that we humans are still searching, but there is still hope. And from my basic scientific understanding, I felt the answer could perhaps be in the spectrum of the rainbow.
The committee agreed that it was indeed a wonderful song to help celebrate the their project and the secretariat was very helpful and patient whilst we set about making a professional recording for them to upload on the official IYL 2015 website for event organisers to download for use at their events.
As an official resource on the IYL 2015 website, Rainbow Of Light has reached audiences around the world and has been featured at many IYL 2015 events globally, including India (3), Russia, Portugal, Canada, Spain, USA (2) Cyprus, Greece, Italy (3), Hungary, Poland (2), and the UK.(Full list below). The composition has also reached a semi-finalist position in the UK International Song Contest.
Katerina and I flew to Italy to perform the work live at the Laser Florence event, which was attended by representatives in the medical profession from over thirty different countries and a day later Katerina sang Rainbow Of Light to open the Light – From the Big Bang to VJ’s community event in Bristol, UK. Two very different events celebrating the diversity and beauty of light in our lives.
My quest for finding where the mysterious light came from continues. Through discovering Starmus, writing Rainbow of Light and meeting Katerina, all of which enabled me to have a part in the International Year of Light, this can only open up opportunities in the future to help me find the illusive answer.
I am very grateful to all who encouraged me, inspired me and supported me through this incredible non commercial journey for the IYL 2015, especially Katerina Mina who believed in the song wholeheartedly from the beginning. Rainbow Of Light (classical version on youtube) features Katerina on vocals, Pip Evans on double bass, Callum Gibson on acoustic guitar, (with special thanks to Lynton Guest for working with Pip and Callum in the studio), Ariel Lang on violin and Lydia Hillerhud on cello, who were both in their final year at the London Academy of Music. Astrophotographer Damian Peach allowed us to use freely some fabulous deep sky images from his website for the youtube video (www.damianpeach.com), which has attracted over 3,500 views so far. Graphic artist Phil Wainwright contributed his talent voluntarily, producing the artwork for the MP3 cover.
Appreciation goes also to the IYL 2015 event organisers who chose to feature the song in their celebrations, either opening the proceedings, or using the music in other ways. These are listed below.
A new re-recorded contemporary ‘pop’ version called Rainbow Of Light (Anthem) is now released as an MP3 download and video through iTunes and other digital stores, so that the general public worldwide can hear the song and not just participants in the International Year Of Light events.
Produced by Nigel Stonier at Airtight studios in Manchester, England, Katerina features as the singer on this track too, with Nigel contributing most of the instrumentation. The lovely cello part is by Margit van der Zwan.
Rainbow of Light (Anthem) and the original classical version is also available on my website http://www.lindalamon.com
Rainbow of Light on IYL 2015 Events
Cyprus IYL event opening, Larnaca.
Fiat Lux conference, Rome, Italy.
Lamp Lighting Solutions, Barcelona, Spain.
Building Bridges With Light Symposium, Russia
UnderdLights Arts Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal
Nights Of Light, Bergamo, Italy
The Path Of Light, Anapolis, Brazil
Light Beyond The Bulb, Mangalore, India
3rd Nationwide Conference On Light Pollution, Krakow, Poland
Create It Project, Athens, Greece (Skylight, A Global Science Opera)
(beamed to 23 countries)
Life of Al Hazen National seminar, Aligarh, India
International Conference On Applied Optics, Vancouver, Canada
Eyesoar Project, Florida, USA
Laser Florence, Italy
Light- From The Big Bang to VJ’s, Bristol, UK
Eastern Analytical Symposium, New Jersey, USA
Archeology Of Light, Istvan Museum, Baja, Hungary
Linda Lamon is a UK based award winning composer, lyricist and musician and a member of the PRS, PPL and Basca.
Linda’s works range from folk to classical in various genres and she currently has two pieces in the British Music Collection (Rainbow Of Light and The New Woodland Song). Three of her compositions have reached semi final positions in the UK International Song Contest.
Collaborations have included Dr Brian May, for whom Linda wrote two songs to support his Save Me charity, and soprano Katerina Mina, who performs a repertoire of Linda’s compositions.